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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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TAKE THE QUIZ
1. The StormTrap structure was divided into two subsections to accommodate the rainwater harvesting system.
2. Which component was added to the design concept to meet Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requirements for water quality?


  1. Watertight sump area

  2. UV sanitization system to treat water prior to pumping it to the irrigation system

  3. Sand filter to maximize the removal of pollutants

3. Why was the StormTrap system selected for this project?


  1. Provided efficient storage - 93%

  2. Warranty

  3. Design allowed for a quick installation

4. Select the incorrect statement about the stormwater control system:
5. What were the main design considerations when evaluating the underground storage detention system?


  1. Required 23-acre storage volume had to fit into the available space

  2. The structure needed to have minimum HS-20 loading

  3. Construction of the system had to be completed in an 8-month construction window.

6. Geotextile fabric was installed over the gaps between adjacent pieces to allow stormwater to enter the StormTrap system.
7. A water tight seal was only used in the sump area of the StormTrap to hold water for irrigation.
8. Several detention configurations were considered to mitigate flooding issues during the study phase of the stormwater management plan for the Village of Northbrook.
9. The stormwater is pumped from the sump storage area to the UV treatment enclosure before it gets pumped to the irrigation system.
10. What storm event was used in determining the required stormwater storage volume?

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