UA study to fix runoff problems, create accurate campus map

By D. Shayne Christie
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 21, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The drainage problems that exist on the UA campus are being studied to come up with viable solutions. This is the first time drainage problems have been addressed as a whole on campus.


The UA is conducting a study of rainwater runoff, why it causes drainage problems around campus and how the problems can be fixed.

The study will utilize aerial maps to create an accurate map of the campus, which will eventually go online on UA Info, said Grant McCormick, campus planner for Campus and Facilities Planning.

McCormick said the study is being conducted by Collins/Pina Consulting Engineers Inc. at a cost of $200,000.

According to a news release, one of the study's goals is a campus-wide drainage plan. The release also stated the study will provide an accurate campus map to lay the foundation for a campus geographic information system and future survey work on campus.

McCormick said drainage is the second issue of the study. The study will focus mainly on developing a campus map that can be used by the University of Arizona community.

Different departments have never been able to integrate all their campus maps, McCormick said.

"Across campus traditionally, a lot of departments have had their own maps. (The study) would provide a consistent platform that potentially the entire campus can use," McCormick said.

Marlis Davis, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said her department does its own mapping as others do.

"Everybody's a little different and they are not always totally correct," Davis said.

She also said that while Parking and Transportation's maps are adequate for its uses, the maps are not to scale nor do they provide a real picture of the campus.

"This is a much more enhanced, sophisticated mapping process for the UA," Davis said.

Rene Pina, of Collins/Pina Engineering, said, "The scope of the work is to provide a topographic base map in sufficient detail to form the base platform for the actual campus map."

He also said some details, like utility lines, will not be included in the study and the UA would have to add those specifics to the base map.

The intent of the drainage study is to create a master plan for the campus, McCormick said.

"(The problem) ranges from places where people get their feet wet to places where the water goes over curbs and floods buildings," McCormick said.

McCormick said this is the first time campus drainage is being reviewed as a whole.

He also said that as the university grows, there is concern increased runoff will cause more drainage problems.

"I think it has not been dealt with comprehensively and therefore it has not been dealt with effectively," McCormick said of the university's previous drainage studies.

"We're going to localize and confirm where the runoff goes," Pina said.

"We will identify where and how much runoff is getting conveyed through the campus."

He said the engineering firm has finished 75 percent to 80 percent of the study.