UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into the feasibility of rain gardens as a stormwater management solution Lam, Alfred; Tam, Raymond; Young, Robert; Woo, Sangpil


Stormwater pollution is becoming a greater problem in Vancouver with the increase of urbanization. In order to address the problem and to minimize the amount of pollutants discharging into sensitive waterways, UBC is planning to include two rain-gardens in the construction of the new SUB. To analyze the feasibility of rain gardens as a stormwater management solution, a triple bottom line assessment was conducted looking at economic, social, and environmental factors. Based on cost comparisons, case studies and performance reports of rain gardens implemented within the same climate region, academic studies on the social effect of vegetated gardens, and a small student survey, conclusions can be drawn regarding each of the three factors. An economic analysis determined a rain garden would cost less to initiate and to maintain than a regular garden. Socially, the presence of a rain garden could increase student awareness of UBC’s goal in sustainable urban development and raise awareness to an uncommonly known problem of storm-water pollution. Environmentally, a rain garden holds the same benefits as a regular garden in addition to filtering out up to 90% of the chemicals and up to 80% of dissolved solids out of stormwater runoff. Based on these main points, it was concluded that a rain garden is a cost effective method way to filter out stormwater pollutants, add aesthetics, and enhance the natural atmosphere of the university campus. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International