Environmentally Friendly Landscaping at Colorado State Helps Reduce Water Pollution in Fort Collins Community

Facilities Management at Colorado State University is working to clean up water around Fort Collins through environmentally friendly landscaping on campus. The department is working on three remediation wetlands, planting trees throughout the Engineering Building parking lot and examining the use of ecological processes to remove pollutants from graywater.

In an effort to combine fashion with function, Colorado State landscape architects are developing remediation wetlands to naturally remove pollutants and sediments from wastewater and stormwater using plants and bacteria. Currently, one wetland is completed and called the Water Conservation Demonstration Garden and is located next to the University Greenhouses. Two additional wetlands are under construction at the Foothills Campus at the equine ponds and next to the ropes course on the Main Campus.

Every year, thousands of gallons of water from storms and snowmelt enter the storm drains of Fort Collins, and numerous contaminates and pollutants including pesticides, oils, metals, sediment and animal waste are picked up and carried by the water. To reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surfaces and groundwater from storm sewer systems, the Environmental Protection Agency has enacted the Stormwater Program, also known as MS4, or Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. Through this program, Colorado State is working to reduce the amount of pollution that reaches the Poudre River and Spring Creek from the campus community.

Colorado State students, faculty and staff can additionally help keep the waters around Fort Collins clean by:

– properly disposing hazardous wastes such as paint and car oil,

– cleaning up pet waste and disposing of it properly,

– maintaining vehicles and washing them in appropriate places such as an established carwash,

– placing refuse in appropriate containers, and

– using no, or fewer, pesticides and fertilizers on your yard and garden.

Illegally discharged waste or people disposing of water waste on campus should be reported to Colorado State University’s Facilities Dispatch at (970) 491-0077.