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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Sept. 12, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Colorado State University
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

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.

The Water Conservation Demonstration Gardens are part of the Wetlands Project and serve as a working demonstration of both the remediation of waste water from a commercial use and the use of the reclaimed water in a water conserving landscape.

Irrigation and runoff water that is not directly used in the production and cultivation of plants in the University Greenhouses runs into a series of floor drains and is discharged. This run-off water, which can be discharged at rates as much as 1,000 gallons per day, contains fertilizer and fungicide residue not appropriate to discharge into either the storm or sanitary system.

The remediation of the irrigation waste water is being accomplished by a series of biological treatments constructed on an 11,000 square foot site. The three stages of the remediation include an 800 square foot bog, 1,000 square foot pond with a re-circulating water feature and a bioretention trench. Water which has been "cleaned" through the bog and pond treatments will be applied via a drip irrigation system to a water conservation demonstration garden.

The initial phase of the project was constructed in the spring and summer of 2003 with equipment and funding provided by Colorado State University Facilities Management, and design and labor provided by undergraduate students in the Landscape Design and Construction program.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.