Ohio State, ADS Launch Sustainability Collaboration on Water, Recycling

Feb. 1, 2022

The Ohio State University and Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) today announced a new collaboration that will support water management research, enhance student learning, and make campus more sustainable.  The company is donating two state-of-the-art stormwater management systems for the Innovation District on west campus along with a cash gift to install them and fund related research and teaching opportunities.  Additional parts of the gift will promote diversity and inclusion by supporting the Engineering House Learning Community and will help the university improve recycling on campus.  The combined value of the product donation and cash gift exceeds $1 million.

“The new collaboration with ADS will greatly improve the way Ohio State manages stormwater runoff from new development at Innovation District,” says Kate Bartter, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute.  Stormwater management is a significant economic and environmental issue when designing new construction.  The collaboration draws attention to stormwater management at a time when climate change is exacerbating the issue by greatly increasing the number and intensity of storm events.  Catastrophic flooding in the southern United States and overseas in places like Germany have highlighted the danger from extreme storm events to life and property.

The challenges posed by stormwater management is a powerful motivation for Advanced Drainage Systems, a supplier of drainage products for residential, commercial, agriculture and infrastructure markets.  “Our reason is water, whether in an urban or rural setting,” says Scott Barbour, ADS President and CEO.  “We are pleased to be able to help Ohio State manage stormwater runoff at its new Innovation District with this donation.”

In addition to the product donation and installation cost, the company plans to support research and teaching opportunities that will use the larger of the two stormwater systems as a living laboratory for urban water management.  Potential projects include comparing the performance of the company’s stormwater management system to water quality from traditional retention pond and exploring the possibility of tapping the water stored inside the system for irrigation.  Part of the gift will also support the diversity and inclusion goals of the Engineering House Learning Community for undergraduate students.

“Bringing together Ohio State’s core assets like this is the equivalent of an academic trifecta,” Bartter adds.  “It really demonstrates what the university can contribute to our knowledge and application of sustainability solutions.  This collaboration will not only make our campus more sustainable, but it will generate research and teaching benefits for years to come.”

Launched in 2019, the Sustainability Institute supports Ohio State’s vision to be a world leader in developing durable solutions to the pressing challenges of sustainability.  The institute enables a more effective and coordinated approach to interdisciplinary sustainability research, teaching, campus stewardship and community engagement.  Its mission is to build a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

Based in Hilliard, Advanced Drainage Systems is a leading provider of innovative water management solutions in the stormwater and on-site septic wastewater industries, providing drainage solutions for use in the construction and agriculture marketplace. Founded in 1966, the company has been manufacturing innovative and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional materials. Its products are used across a broad range of end markets and applications, including non-residential, residential, infrastructure and agriculture applications. The company operates a global network of 63 manufacturing plants and 32 distribution centers.

Learn more about the Ohio State-ADS collaboration.