News Archive

UNHSC updated porous asphalt specification

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Thursday, November 14, 2013

For Immediate Release:

November 1, 2013


NEWINGTON, NH & DURHAM, NH—A high-impact, high-visibility rain garden has been installed in front of the Langdon Public Library in Newington, NH, by the UNH Stormwater Center (UNHSC). The library is currently undergoing a $1.79 million renovation and addition project.

The installation was part of the Great Bay Municipal Bioretention Program, otherwise known as “Biopalooza,” which was established through a partnership between the UNHSC and the Southeast Watershed Alliance (SWA) to assist watershed municipalities in implementing and tracking pollutant-load reduction through improved stormwater management.

Newington installation features a rain garden designed by Altus Engineering and provided to the town at no additional cost. The grant funded the materials, and the town road crew in cooperation with the Bauen Corporation (the builder for the Langdon Library renovation/addiation project) excavated and installed the system.

Langdon Library Director Scott Campbell remarked: “When Town Planner Tom Morgan informed me that Newington had received this grant, he described the type of situation UNHSC wanted to remediate – a high-visibility spot in need of beautification with a chronic drainage problem. I immediately pointed to “Lake Langdon.” 

The problem spot was a depressed triangle of clumpy, poorly growing grass in front of the library. It was not uncommon for the area to flood with up to a foot of standing water after a heavy rain, which would often take days to disperse. Compounding the problem is the fact that the town garage is just up the street, so this stretch of Nimble Hill Road gets heavily salted in the winter.

“We believe the rain garden will address the drainage problem while beautifying the area with appropriate plantings,” noted Melissa Prefontaine, chair of the Library Board of Trustees. “Since we were already redoing the parking and grounds for the new building, this project fit perfectly into the construction timeline.”

James Houle, program manager for the UNH Stormwater Center, noted: ”As communities become more dense, stormwater needs more sophisticated management. With these grants, we can help communities manage stormwater in ways that have multiple benefits.”

Before (top), during construction (middle) and after construction (bottom) pictures of the Newingto Bioretention system.



UNHSC woriking on implementing green infrastructure with local communities

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter tours UNHSC projects in Rochester, NH

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Since partnering in 2009 UNHSC together with the NH Department of Environmental Services and the Cocheco River Watershed Coalition  have worked in the Willow Brook watershed that drains Rochester's urban core to disconnect paved surfaces and reduce harmful pollant levels.  Through two state funded projects the partnership has disconnected 1.4 acres of pavement and treat runoff through a variety of filters including vegetated gardens, permeable pavements, tree boxes and dry wells.  The efforts have led to annual reductions of 197 lbs of sediment, 0.7 lbs of phosphorus and 5.6 lbs of nitrogen.  You can read more about the visit here:  Fosters Article

UNHSC releases its final report on the performance of permeable interlocking concrete pavement technology

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cold climate functionality of a PICP in an institutional setting. You can access the final report by clicking the link below:


UNHSC to present progress on managaging pollution from stormwater on the Gundalo

Friday, June 28, 2013

with guest host JAMIE HOULE
from the UNH Stormwater Center
Join James Houle Program Manager and Outreach Coordinator, UNH Stormwater Center, to learn about local water quality issues and up-to-date solutions to pollution. Houle’s discussion will include success stories on implementation of innovative stormwater control measures.
This sail is FREE thanks to funding from RBC Wealth Management
* The Piscataqua is docked in Prescott Park, next to the historic Sheafe Warehouse *

UNHSC to host the New England Tribal Nonpoint Source Workshop in Durham NH

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Penobscot Indian Nation through an grant provided by EPA will host a New England Tribal Nonpoint Source Pollution Workshop at the University of New Hampshire Monday 4/29/13 through Thursday May 2, 2013. The workshop will take place in the Piscataqua Room at Holloway Commons.  For more information contact James Houle.  To see the draft agenda click here.

UNHSC publishes a comparitive study on maintenance of stormwater control measures in the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering

Monday, February 18, 2013

Please visit the link to this publication here: A Comparison of Maintenance Cost, Labor Demands, and System Performance for LID and Conventional Stormwater

Introducing the GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Project in NHʼs Coastal Watershed

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Green Infrastructure Project offers several levels of participation outlined on the attached Project Interest and Participation Form and listed below.

  1. Complete the Form to nominate a representative from your municipality, organization or group to participate as a member of the project Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will serve in a collaborative leadership role with the Project Team to: a) help guide and advise the application of stormwater science and conduct outreach; and b) act as a key link between collaborative project activities, communities and stakeholders.  SAVE THE DATE: THE 1ST ADVISORY BOARD MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 31, 2013 from 4:00-7:00pm (including a light dinner, location to be announced).
  2. Complete the Form to let us know what type(s) of implementation project your municipality may be interested in applying for. [Note:  Municipalities indicating interest in Project Implementation will receive follow-up materials and a separate Project Application form.]
  3. Complete the Form to let us know what type of topics in our workshop/training series are of interest to your municipality.

To participate in the project, please complete the attached form either in hard copy or electronically (typing directly into the document) and return it via email or mail to Jamie Houle or Julie LaBranche. Contact and mailing information is provided on the form. NOTE:  Project Interest and Participation Forms will be accepted at any time during the project, with implementation projects selected on a rolling basis as applications are submitted.

Please contact us if you have questions or need assistance completing the attached Form. The Green Infrastructure Team looks forward to hearing from you!


    James Houle – Project Coordinator - (UNH Stormwater Center)

    Julie LaBranche - Collaborative Science Lead - (Rockingham Planning Commission)

The Green Infrastructure Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Collaborative and lead by the UNH Stormwater Center, Southeast Watershed Alliance, Rockingham and Strafford Regional Planning Commissions, Antioch University, Great Bay NERRS and Geosyntec. The project goals are to provide tools to build more resilient infrastructure and encourage implementation of green infrastructure practices and methods.

Green Infrastructure Grant to Help NH Communities Manage Stormwater

Monday, December 03, 2012

DURHAM, N.H. – A pair of grants to the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center will help communities in the Great Bay watershed better manage stormwater– runoff from rainfall that is not absorbed into the ground – with innovative “green” infrastructure.


With $600,000 from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative grant, a partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Stormwater Center will give New Hampshire’s 42 coastal watershed communities much-needed support in reducing stormwater runoff and its related costs of pollution and flooding.  A second grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) will provide additional funding, bringing the Green Infrastructure project a total of $700,000 to combat the rising tide of stormwater within the region.


A collaboration of regional partners will provide a toolkit from which watershed communities can pick remedies that will address their local priorities. The Green Infrastructure project team includes the Southeast Watershed Alliance, the Rockingham Planning Commission, Antioch University, the Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, Geosyntec and the UNH Stormwater Center, with the guidance of an advisory board from local communities. The collaborative project team encourages all communities within the entire drainage area for New Hampshire’s coastal waters, from its headwater communities, as far upstream as Candia, Wakefield, and New Durham, to its coastal towns in Seabrook and Hampton, to participate in the project.


“As communities become more dense, stormwater needs more sophisticated management,” says James Houle, program manager for the UNH Stormwater Center, adding that tools to deal with stormwater have also improved. “With these grants, we can help communities manage stormwater in ways that have multiple benefits, which could include reduced flooding resulting in a decrease in damage to infrastructure and property, and supporting communities to meet regulatory requirements.”


The grants will help communities implement strategies for reducing pollution in the watershed and for controlling other negative effects of stormwater which will result in improved water quality. Alison Watts, project coordinator for the Southeast Watershed Alliance and assistant research professor at UNH, notes that examples of green infrastructure might be a rain garden that absorbs stormwater into vegetation or soil, installing porous pavement, or a town ordinance that mandates better buffers between streams and development. “It’s not just about building things, it’s about the managing water as a resource,” she says. “A lot of smaller towns aren’t aware of all the tools they can use to manage stormwater.”


Key to both projects, Watts says, is the commitment to involve communities in all decisions; such engagement ensures that stormwater solutions will become a normal part of day to day practices and the planning process in communities. This will solve many current stormwater problems and help prevent future ones.