DUWC Collaborates with Duke Facilities for Water Quality Management and Native Vegetation Planning for the West Campus Stormwater Reclamation Pond





Duke Pond. Photo: Duke Office of Communication Services


The Wetland Center has undertaken a permanent collaboration with the Duke Facilities Management Department at the Stormwater Reclamation Pond on Duke's West Campus.

Duke Facilities Management began the project in response to the record drought of 2007. Known as Duke Pond, the $11.5 million facility collects rainwater and runoff from 22 percent of the main campus area for use in a nearby chilled water plant, which pumps water across campus to cool buildings. It is expected to save about 100 million gallons of potable water a year. The 5.5-acre lake sits on a 12-acre site that also provides a place for education, research, and recreation. Facilities include a pavilion, boardwalk, a .6-mile walking path, and an amphitheater with lawn seating. Construction was completed in 2015.

The Wetland Center has been tasked with monitoring the facility water quality. This includes (1) calculating a water budget for the pond, (2) assessing whether the pond is in accordance with North Carolina state water quality standards, and (3) determining the success of establishing wetland plant communities along the edge of Duke Pond. DUWC also advised Duke Facilities on the original selection of native wetland vegetation to be planted at the site.

DUWC provides a PDF checklist of birds observed at Duke Pond.

Duke Pond is part of the University-wide stormwater response that includes the Stream and Wetland Assessment Management Park (SWAMP).


A 2014 (mid-construction) video about Duke Pond and its role in water conservation and campus-wide stormwater management



A composite Picture of native wetland plants found on the SWAMP site in Duke Forest.

Picture compiled by Mengchi Ho, DUWC