The project at C.W. Stanford Middle School in Hillsborough, NC is a partnership between school science teachers, administration, the Orange County School Board, the Orange County Erosion Control Division, the Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the Piedmont Conservation Council.
This diverse and experienced team crafted the idea for this project back in 2008 when educators, students and local officials designed and built an outdoor classroom on the campus, which is shared with Orange High School. During the process, it was noticeable that the stormwater runoff from the campus, easily visible from the outdoor classroom, was contributing pollutants to the nearby Eno River.
The BMPs installed for this project were completed in early 2012, with design by Kimley-Horn and Associates. The project includes bioretention areas to treat runoff from the bus parking lot and the roof of the school, a 400,000-gallon pond to capture and store water for irrigation, and an oil/water separator to treat runoff from the high school parking lot before it runs into the pond. The project has been featured in the local news several times and garnered widespread support in the community and from the school board.
It is anticipated that the school will save approximately $130,000 per year on water utilities due to irrigating with reused water from the pond instead of potable water - a replacement of over 4 million gallons annually.