Ewart Avenue Stormwater iPond: Controlling Runoff in the Cloud
Beckley Sanitary Board
The Beckley Sanitary Board (BSB) partnered with other state and federal agencies (West Virginia Department of Highways, Southern Conservation District, West Virginia Conservation Agency, and Piney Creek Watershed Association) to address an issue of flooding along State Rt. 16 at the confluence of two of BSB’s stormwater watersheds, the Robert C Byrd Dr. watershed (35% impervious) and Ewart Avenue watershed (12% impervious).
Upgrading the existing infrastructure along Route 16 was costlier and structurally extensive than expected so an alternative solution was sought. After careful analysis and collaboration, it was determined to construct a detention pond on City property to capture and detain runoff from the Ewart Avenue watershed during significant rain events, thereby reducing the quantity of water flowing into the flood-prone area. The detention pond also provided a settling environment for total suspended solids (TSS) and improve water quality.
The Ewart Avenue detention pond was installed in 2012 with the primary objective of reducing flooding downstream at the intersection. The facility was not able to be sized large enough to manage major storm events. As such, BSB was interested in gaining more performance out of this facility. BSB also has other water quality/TMDL requirements, and were interested in learning how flood control (detention) facilities could be used for water quality (retention). BSB then partnered with Opti in 2016 to evaluate Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Control (CMAC) technology for this detention basin.
In February 2017, the passive system was retrofitted with OptiNimbus. The objectives of control are to minimize discharge from the pond during storm events and provide a consistent post-storm retention time to improve runoff quality before it is released downstream. Continuous monitoring will collect real-time data and automatic alerts will enable BSB to coordinate maintenance efforts and improve public safety around severe rain events.
For more information on this project, please visit the Beckley Sanitary Board website.
By comparing the observed system performance with a simulated passive system with the same watershed characteristics, implementing CMAC at iPond has resulted in improved water quality, increased channel protection, and a reduction in flood risk.