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Paul Siegfried, P.E., CFM, CPESC, Assistant Water Resources Dept. Manager for Baxter & Woodman, and Kelly Hamill, Director of Public Works for the Village of Northbrook, presents a case study on a rainwater harvesting and stormwater storage facility in Northbrook, IL.

Project Description

The Village of Northbrook’s Wescott Park project creatively combines green infrastructure with large-scale flood mitigation. In order to alleviate recurring flooding in the Village’s Sunset Fields Subdivision, the Village constructed a 23.7-acre foot underground stormwater storage facility in Wescott Park. With funding assistance provided by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, a rainwater harvesting system was added to the project which utilizes stored stormwater to irrigate the park’s north ball field. Harvested water is filtered and treated to provide safe irrigation water meeting Illinois Department of Public Health water quality standards. System controls obtain available weather forecast data and automatically drain down stored water prior to significant storm events, ensuring that the maximum stormwater storage volume is available when it is needed the most.

Successful planning and execution of the project required a community partnership. The north half of Wescott Park is owned by the Park District, while the south half is located within the Wescott Elementary School’s property. Both the Park District and the School rely on use of the park’s ballfields and are impacted by any extended loss of use.  Public outreach was instrumental in gaining support for the project, and coordination among the Village, the Park District, the School, and residents was essential for successful design and construction.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how collaboration, negotiation, and public outreach can be critical components of completing a project which will benefit the community.
  • Review design considerations for underground stormwater detention facilities, and learn how to solve site constraints while maximizing potential land use.
  • Recognize opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure into stormwater detention design.
  • See how real time monitoring and weather forecast data can be utilized in a rainwater harvesting system to provide dual use storage volume.

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