Lawrence Tech’s Drainage System to be Featured at White House Summit


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The finished integrated drainage system test area at Lawrence Tech

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Tech

A new parking lot drainage system designed to reduce stormwater runoff that was recently installed at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield utilizing technology, in part, from Parjana Distribution in downtown Detroit, will be showcased at the White House Water Summit at the end of the month.

Donald Carpenter, director of the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute at Lawrence Tech, says the system, installed in December, is designed to address concerns such as pollution from paved surface runoff after rain, soil moisture imbalance, and a lack of underground water recharging.

The Water Summit, to be held on March 22, will raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the U.S., as well as help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology. Carpenter says Lawrence Tech’s system is one of many technologies from the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors that will be demonstrated at the event.

“This honor reflects the … collaborative research taking place at Lawrence Tech’s Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute, and the innovative technologies of our industry partners,” Carpenter says.

He says the system combines a parking lot surface manufactured by Vancouver, Wash.-based Xeripave LLC; a porous material made of shale underneath the pavers made by Indiana-based Haydite Press Brick Co.; and a system called energy-passive groundwater recharge products from Detroit’s Parjana Distribution.

The drainage system being installed in December

Parjana’s products are a series of plastic tubes driven vertically into the soil. The tubes encourage water to move away from the surface more rapidly than it would through normal soil due to an array of factors, including gravity and soil pressure.

Carpenter says the system also includes sensors in 12 test wells below the surface to measure water levels and how well the system is performing its intended task.

“Stormwater runoff is one of the most pressing issues of development for municipalities and corporations,” says Greg McPartlin, CEO of Parjana Distribution. “We expect this project will be an ultimate guideline to design and implement integrated green infrastructure for the future.”

Parjana also installed the system at Belle Isle, reducing the volume of stormwater runoff at the 24-acre test site by more than 80 percent.

The Water Summit will be live-streamed at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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