Water Quality Analysis & Design
When we discuss “green projects”, we think of greenhouse gases, air pollution, recycling and the like. But one of the most offensive things development of any size can do is enable stormwater pollution to occur not just during grading and construction, but over the life of the project. Today, civil engineers know how to design much cleaner and less polluting projects. That’s what we do.
We use a process that begins with understanding the circumstances of the project’s watershed (the drainage basin where the project exists). Some watersheds contain special needs or critical problems that must be considered when evaluating the design of a new project.
Once understood, the project can be designed and constructed to work with nature – not against it. The major design features we look to control are these: 1) prevent pollution during construction, 2) reduce pollution over the life of the project, and 3) improve the watershed over the life of each project.
Prevent pollution during construction (Erosion Control)
This is also called erosion control and it has three major components, 1) preventing waste from leaving the construction site, 2) preventing erosion during construction, and 3) eliminating siltation downstream of the project site. That’s what we do.
Project Pollution During its Lifetime (Biofiltration)
After a project is constructed, we can reduce or eliminate pollution from it. We do this by designing naturalized treatment areas that can take-out pollutants from stormwater before it leaves the project. We can force all stormwater to flow to biofiltration basins (also called Rain Gardens) where biology works with filtration to remove oil, grease, nutrients and many other pollutants from the drainage before leaving. That’s what we do.
Reduce Watershed Degradation (by Restorative Hydromodification)
As we build towns and cities we change hydrology. We alter the amount of stormwater that sinks into the ground, evaporates into the air and generally increases the rainfall-runoff. When you multiply this change by the hundreds or thousands of projects that have been constructed in a watershed – you can see riverbanks erode and flooding increase. That is because the cumulative impact of development generally means more runoff with storms peaking sooner at higher levels. The solution is something called “Restorative Hydromodification” which means that we reduce the stormwater flow leaving a project site to the same amount as did before anything was ever constructed on the location. That’s what we do.