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Stormwater

Right-sized Stormwater Solutions

Stormwater management is an evolving, complex challenge facing jurisdictions across the country. Both rural and urban areas have increasing concerns about the destructive power of water such as flooding, erosion, and water quality related issues. But with proper planning, stormwater management challenges can become opportunities to improve the overall health of aquatic systems.

As a natural resource and an integral part of the water cycle, stormwater must be preserved and protected. We take this responsibility seriously—bringing together industry best practices, design standards, and the natural environment to create smart, right-sized solutions.

Our team of engineers, environmental scientists, planners, and certified floodplain managers specializes in stormwater management with a full range of associated services.

We don’t believe in “one size fits all” solutions. From developing innovative designs to using tried and true methods, we tailor our recommendations specifically for your site, needs, and budget.

Regional Knowledge

Lasting client relationships, built on a philosophy of responsive, personal service, allow us to develop an intimate knowledge of local stormwater and water quality issues. A strong understanding of the environment, geographical area, and local jurisdiction needs have created an unmatched depth of project experience.

Watershed Management Authorities

Historically, stormwater management was handled jurisdiction by jurisdiction with little regard for watershed boundaries. Guiding the development of five Watershed Management Authorities, we’ve witnessed the power of jurisdictions coming together to improve water quality and reduce flooding. We’re proud to help facilitate these improvements and are excited to apply our experience in assisting other watersheds.

Improving Water Quality

Utilizing the latest research to develop creative solutions is important to improve water quality. A critical part of this is educating the public and other stakeholders because improving water quality is a collaborative community effort. It’s not easy, but we’re committed to applying our planning, environmental science, landscape architecture, and engineering expertise to help you solve complex water quality issues.

How We Can Help

Comprehensive Stormwater Planning

To efficiently utilize limited resources and plan for long-term sustainability, we begin with a deep understanding of your existing system:

  • Assessing channels and streams for capacity, stability, and water quality
  • Examining storm sewer system conditions along with possible hydraulic modeling to identify problem areas
  • A review of community stormwater regulations to evaluate their effectiveness

After reviewing existing conditions, work begins to create a vision for the future. Our comprehensive approach considers a variety of practices and implements what’s most effective and best suited to your needs:

  • Establishing greenbelts for floodwater to spill where it won’t cause damage
  • Removing structures with high damage potential from flood-prone areas
  • Stabilizing channels to reduce erosion, protect nearby property, and improve water quality
  • Building regional detention basins to control flows downstream
  • Implementing practices to enhance water quality

Sometimes, hard infrastructure is the most appropriate and practical solution. But, considering other management practices can help maximize limited resources, resulting in a system that’s an amenity rather than just an infrastructure.

Floodplain Management & Permitting

Close working relationships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and state and local floodplain regulators helps us mitigate potential permitting issues and gain important insight on proposed projects. Identifying and addressing potential floodplain issues early on during project development helps us navigate the regulatory process.

Our extensive floodplain management services include:

  • FEMA compliant floodplain modeling & mapping
  • FEMA map revisions (LOMA, LOMR)
  • Bridge & culvert hydraulics
  • Pump stations
  • Determination of base flood elevations
  • Analysis for no-rise certification

Detailed System Modeling

Stormwater collection systems usually operate “out of sight and out of mind” until they’re pushed beyond capacity and flooding occurs. Drainage systems installed decades ago may still be in good structural condition. Yet, ongoing urban development and changing weather patterns that produce intense rain can result in infrastructure that is undersized for today’s conditions.

While designing a single storm sewer, culvert, or drainage ditch is straightforward, analyzing an entire drainage network and the interaction between components for different rainfall events is complex.

The powerful capabilities of advanced hydraulic and hydrologic modeling software help us identify and optimize proposed drainage system improvements. Intake placement, pipe size, and storm sewer outlet locations are designed for maximum system efficiency, keeping project goals and future needs in mind.

Funding Assistance

Putting plans into action can be daunting when comparing project costs and available budgets, but numerous funding resources can help.

We’ve guided clients to obtain funding for stormwater improvements through multiple sources including the (Iowa) SRF sponsored projects program, local soil and water conservation district grants, and the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Our experience also includes assisting with local stormwater utility development. This extremely useful community tool can provide a long-term funding stream for addressing drainage and water quality issues.