Stormwater Management

As undeveloped land is converted to residential, industrial, or commercial developments, the overland surface water runoff is increased. Roads, driveways, homes, and buildings, do not allow the water to be absorbed into the ground. This increase in runoff can cause flooding in downstream areas by exceeding channel capacities. These problems intensify unless improvements are made and designed to accommodate future development. C&S assists municipalities and developers in preparing drainage master plans for watershed areas. These master plans are used as a guideline to facilitate site development and manage drainage throughout the watershed.

Drainage routes for developed and undeveloped areas upstream of a proposed development site must be carefully determined. The development itself should be designed to minimize the likelihood of flooding as much as possible. Established guidelines will mitigate potential flood damages from future developments after they have been completed, but often, flood damage occurs downstream of a development during the construction phase. Partially developed land with no stormwater control can cause severe problems. To minimize such problems, the construction of erosion control facilities should precede or at least coincide with land development. These erosion control facilities minimize siltation in downstream open channels, and ultimately help to maintain the quality of the receiving body of water.

C&S can develop innovative stormwater control measures that are more environmentally friendly and can contribute to a site’s overall sustainability or even to LEED certification. This includes measures to control stormwater runoff quantity as well as quality. Concepts include green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavement, vegetated swales, and other options. These measures not only minimize stormwater runoff, but also improve the aesthetics of a site and make it more enjoyable for end users.