ATLANTA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Rain Catcher Awards to a municipality and a university during the EPA Region 4/International Erosion Control Association Municipal Wet Weather Stormwater Conference, according to a press release.

The City of Durham Department of Public Works earned the award in the Municipal Category for its project in Durham, North Carolina, noted the release. The city’s project aims to build small-scale projects on private property to “reduce pollutants and storm surge in a sub-watershed of Ellerbe Creek.”

The city’s project showed runoff volumes had reduce by 47 to 97 percent after 18 months of monitoring, stated the release. It also demonstrated downspout disconnection can control stormwater volume.

EPA also recognized Mississippi State University (MSU) with a Rain Catcher Award, reported the release. The honor was given in the Neighborhood/Community Category for the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s rain garden program.

The university, students, faculty and community volunteers designed the five-year project, shared the release. Unused parking was converted to a grassed area, and a rain garden, dry swale, cistern and sand filter were installed.

“The EPA Region 4 Rain Catcher Award recognizes excellence in the implementation of stormwater green infrastructure practices,” explained the release. “Green infrastructure uses natural systems and/or engineered systems designed to mimic natural processes to more effectively manage stormwater and reduce receiving water impacts.”