StormCapture® Detention System Prevents Flooding in Philadelphia, PA

Gray’s Ferry, Pennsylvania

Highlights

Engineering

Hatch Mott McDonald

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Problem

Now, because of aging infrastructure unequipped to handle excessive amounts of stormwater, during heavy rain events the drainage system becomes overloaded, flooding neighborhood streets. As part of the Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD) ongoing efforts to alleviate pressure on the existing system, they enlisted the firm of Hatch Mott McDonald to find a solution to the recurring problem.
The final plan involved building a detention system that would collect stormwater runoff from the streets, then allow for a controlled release to the surrounding storm drainage system. The detention system would be placed inside a city park, directly underneath a baseball field. The system had to meet the treatable flow rates as well as local regulatory requirements.
C. Abbonizio Contractor’s Inc. was hired to complete the job. But prior to installation, Peter Abbonizio and Joe Winzinger, both with C. Abbonizio, and Michael Creeden with Oldcastle Precast, had a pre-construction meeting with PWD to discuss using the StormCapture system as an alternate solution over the one specificed on the plans. PWD had never used the StormCapture system and was unfamiliar with it, but because of the cost savings and Oldcastle’s Telford plant’s working relationship with C. Abbonizio, the city ultimately selected the StormCapture system. The final approved system is capable of detaining 217,978 cu. ft. (1,630,589 gallons) of stormwater runoff.

The Design

Production of the StormCapture modules started in March 2016, and total installation took two weeks. The project consisted of 141 8-foot tall StormCapture modules and 81 link slabs, which reduced the number of modules needed as well as the overall cost for the project. There were two additional modules included on the project to allow the placement of access manholes outside of the baseball playing field, which were located directly above the system.

The Solution

The modules were offloaded from the trucks and installed by crane. Due to the size of the project, the crane had to be moved frequently. Since the project was inside the city of Philadelphia, crews were limited to roughly 20 trucks per day. There was a very tight timeline to adhere to as the PWD would only allow the contractor to apply grass seed to the completed project within certain dates and they needed to make sure they met those dates, which they did.
Michael Creeden, Territory Manager for Oldcastle’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions remarked, “This project is a perfect example of the direction of Stormwater Management, especially in more urban areas. The City of Philadelphia saw an opportunity to eliminate a flooding problem while maintaining the city’s green space. In the end, no one would ever know that we can store over a million gallons of water just inside of the park, right below the baseball field.”

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