Stormwater management design offers environmental benefits: Milwaukee Riverside Pump Station

Posted in: Environmental, Highways, Municipal


Riverside_body-300x200With cities and municipalities looking towards the future, engineers and community planners must provide more environmental and sustainable designs. Environmental parameters were part of the Riverside Pump Station improvement project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, funded in part by the Green Solutions for Separate Infrastructure & Sewer Separation. By following the initiative’s permit goals, the project not only receives funding but also creates an environmentally conscious utility facility that enhances water quality for flows to the nearby Milwaukee River.

Focusing on potential environmental benefits, Mead & Hunt designed the pump station stormwater management improvements to have permeable asphalt pavement and a riprap-lined overflow channel to distribute water into the Milwaukee River. Approximately 59,000 gallons of rainwater will infiltrate through the permeable asphalt, and then about 68,000 gallons of rainwater will run through the bioretention areas during a year’s worth of rain.

The design also removed four stormwater drainage outlets from the building and redirected stormwater flow to bioretention areas placed strategically around the building. Two inlet structures were removed from a district combined sewer. Bioretention areas treat suspended solids, so redirecting the stormwater into the bioretention areas treats it before being distributed into the Milwaukee River. The design reduces the amount of stormwater discharged into the sewer system by removing the inlets to the district-combined sewer.

Riverside-3_body-300x200These design changes were tactical in order to meet a city ordinance to reduce the total suspended solids load by 40 percent. Our design will achieve 45 percent total suspended solids removal. Additionally, eliminating four connections from the pumping station to the combined sewer system will remove about 187,000 gallons of stormwater from the combined sewer system and instead discharging to the river during a 10-year frequency storm event.

The Milwaukee Riverside Pump Station stormwater management improvements project will enhance the natural environment because the focus went beyond the norm. These choices can be easily replicated in other designs, giving your project an opportunity to positively affect the environment.


Darrell Berry, PE, SE

About the Author

Darrell Berry, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE-Life, is senior manager with substantial project management and consulting engineering experience. He is skilled in developing and delivering successful projects within local, state and federal policies and procedures. Darrell’s background includes project management of transportation and special projects, and structural designs and inspections for highway and railroad bridges. He is well-known for his value engineering team leadership and facilitation skills, to improve the value of projects while maintaining functions, typically at a lower cost to the owner.

Read more posts by Darrell Berry, PE, SE

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