Storm Water Update

If you have any questions or comments, please send them to Paula Davis, Director of Strategic Communications

Communication Updates

Kieser & Associates provides final sampling results-Aug. 13 update

This report from Kieser & Associates primarily updates slides that previously listed test results as pending. Updates (denoted in blue) include the lower post-event phosphorus levels (slide 7) as well as findings indicating levels of substances tested for in sediment sampling (slide 10). Kieser's report does not recommend any further action. Find the presentation here.

Kieser & Associates provides updated results-July 16 update

Kieser has provided information that updates the preliminary findings that were presented July 11 (see post below). Some test results were pending at that time. Updating what was originally on slide 17, results show that by July 9 “total phosphorus" and “total suspended solids” had decreased. And what was slide 19 shows that arsenic in water samples was at "non-detect" levels.  Find the updated results here.

Kieser & Associates presentation-July 12 update

Find Kieser's presentation of preliminary findings  here.

WMU response to EGLE inspection report-July 9 update

The University has submitted a response to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy's June 28 inspection report. Find that response here.

WMU receives EGLE inspection report-June 28 update

The University has received a field inspection report from the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today, and it identified the worksite issues at the BTR 2 that contributed to the storm water runoff during the torrential rainstorm on June 20.

This is another piece of helpful information as we work to address the immediate situation, but also our process in the future.

All of the structural remediation that is identified in the inspection report has already been addressed and was being addressed before we received the report. The day of the event, the University also hired a consultant to assess the lake water as well as sediment. We await the results of that assessment.

We still need to file updated paper work with the relevant agencies, but we've already implemented change.

I think it's important to note that the report did not indicate that a fine is warranted. That said, we take this situation very seriously. Nobody, and first of all WMU, wanted storm water to run into Asylum Lake. Today's report will inform our future site development with contractors as we continue our commitment to the environment as well as investments that improve our community.

Reinforcement measures installed-June 25 update

Over the past several days, the BTR 2 site contractor, working with an environmental engineering company, has been re-engineering storm water and erosion control systems to prevent erosion and sediment from reaching Asylum Lake. The additional protective measures have been designed to greatly improve the site's capacity to prevent erosion and manage storm water during heavy rain storms.

WMU engages environmental company

June 21, 2019

Kieser & Associates has been engaged to sample and measure the contents in the sediment and lake water.  The University has asked Kieser & Associates to present its findings at the anticipated July 11, 2019 meeting of the Council.


Communication to Asylum Lake Policy Management Council

June 20, 2019

Dear fellow council members:

I'm writing to update you on what's happening at the Business Technology Research Park 2 site and at the Asylum Lake Preserve, given the extraordinary rain event that caused significant soil erosion. Many people have been busy working with contractors and  agencies to correct the immediate situation and to develop countermeasures as we move forward. There have been many other storm water related issues across the main campus and in Greater Kalamazoo.

As you know, following heavy rain overnight and early today, a significant amount of soil washed away from the BTR 2 construction site when Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control measures failed to contain all soils onsite. Beginning first thing in the morning and through the day, workers cleared Drake Road of the sediment that ran across the roadway. 

Later in the morning, at about 10 a.m., a water resource inspector from the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Department came to the scene, indicated that soil erosion measures had failed and that additional measures will be needed to prevent further and continued erosion. She opined that sediment that entered Asylum Lake may not need removal, but she recommended a third party review the lake property. She indicated that she would issue a citation detailing what occurred and the delineating the contractor's expected response to the situation.

You should know that last week, Kalamazoo County inspected the SESC and those controls passed. The site contractor has been following all the measures in the permit that were approved by the government agencies. With the erosion incident, if the engineer adds measures, a new SESC permit will be filed with the County and the EGLE. So, next steps include the engineer of record designing additional measures to prevent erosion, getting a new permit and having the contractor implement the measures. A third party to assess Asylum Lake in light of this incident will also be engaged.

We have been busy supporting the inspection process throughout the day, providing all information that they have requested. The contractor will follow any direction in the citation that is necessary to prevent sedimentation from leaving the construction site.

WMU appreciates it that you are helping monitor the situation and we ask that you continue to do so throughout the project.  It is also WMU’s goal to protect Asylum Lake for future generations.  We, too, share your concern and dismay.  We are working diligently to address the effects.


Peter J Strazdas, Associate Vice President
Facilities Management