UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into south campus stormwater catchment and filtration technologies Qiu, Jing Ming; Lu, Jing Wen; Yan, Lichen


UBC Farm currently uses Metro Vancouver as a source of water for irrigation. Statistics shows that water consumption during the peak season from June to September is almost four times of that during off-peak season, and such a big difference creates a heavy cost to the Farm. Due to the coastal climate of Vancouver, the peak season for irrigation is in drought condition whereas precipitation during off-peak season is more than enough for irrigation purpose in off-peak and even peak season. Thus, in order to save water consumption and be environmentally friendly, three sustainable stormwater catchment systems were proposed and triple bottom line assessment was conducted to evaluate these systems with economic, social, and ecological factors. These three systems include pond, rain garden and Rooftop Water Harvesting System, which are all designed to catch precipitation and stormwater runoff at UBC South Campus and thus to provide filtration and conserve the water for irrigation during peak season. The economic assessment determines which system costs less and needs less years for investment payback, and the pond solution achieves the best score for its relatively lost cost and hence less years of payback. The social evaluation indicates how each system would affect the neighbourhood and the society. Rain garden has the most social benefits, but it also brings significant disturbance to the neighbourhood community. Lastly, the ecological assessment shows how each system will alter the environment and what are the benefits to the environment. In this aspect, both rain garden and water pond bring similar ecological benefits, while the third one has no noticeable benefits since it is mostly industrialized and artificial. Hence, from the overall judgement of the three aspects, the water pond solution obtains the highest overall ranking. Therefore, it is suggested to implement a water pond with a mini ecosystem in UBC Farm for stormwater catchment and filtration, and a habitat test and additional funding are required. 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.”

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