Geosyntec Staff Complete Innovative Creek Restoration Project
Lee Mullon, Mark Ellard, and Mike Hardin (Florida) were recently given the Innovative Project Cost Share (Grant) Award from the St. Johns River Water Management District because it was the most innovative project for completing a creek restoration project in the City of Gainesville, Florida known as Beville Creek.
Lee was lead designer and engineer of record, Mark Ellard was project director and Mike Hardin contributed to the design of the project as well with the design of the regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) components.
The Geosyntec team conducted an extensive hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the 175-acre watershed and creek and determined that the creek could meet all the city's objectives using regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC). RSC is an open-channel system that converts surface flow to shallow groundwater flow, through a series of surface pools with subsurface sand seepage filters. RSC systems control erosion by elevating and leveling steep creek sections, with grade changes occurring in armored pools and cascades that can withstand turbulent flow. Water quality media was constructed within the pools to filter stormwater pollutants as it seeped into the shallow groundwater through the hyporheic zone. Native plantings were also incorporated into the design to further the sustainable and resiliency goals of the city.
The study phase initiated in late 2014. Design and permitting was initiated in 2015. Construction began in early 2017 and was completed in December 2017. Monitoring activities are currently being conducted by the University of Florida on the project to determine its effectiveness.
Prior to the improvements, Beville Creek suffered from severe erosion caused by decades of residential development encroachment and urbanization. The city's initial desire was to enclose the creek and pipe the water with a storm drain, however concerns raised from residential outreach and communication with local environmental officials led the city to consider alternative "green infrastructure" improvements that would maintain an open natural creek system that addressed the erosion, while not reducing the environmental and biological function of the creek.
"We're pleased that the city recognized the benefit of using green infrastructure to meet their own goals of sustainable water resources practices, and that we could bring a successful project to those residents who enjoy an open Beville Creek," Lee Mullon, who led the project, said.
Lee has served as Project Manager and Engineer-of-Record on stormwater management and water resources projects for public and private clients since 2002. His keys areas of expertise include stormwater master planning efforts, stormwater BMP design and retrofits, stormwater and surface sampling and collection, floodplain analysis, hydrologic/ hydraulic modeling, construction plans and specifications preparation, construction cost estimation & schedule development, construction bid support, construction inspection & oversight, infrastructure concept visualization, stormwater pollutant prevention plan (SWPPP) development, environmental resource permitting, grant assistance and project management. He has extensive experience with the use of ArcGIS for spatial analysis, mapping, database warehousing, and data representation, as well as transforming planning-level information into construction-ready design and project visualizations using AutoCAD Civil3D.
Mark Ellard is a Senior Principal Water Resources and Environmental Engineer based in Florida with more than 25 years of experience in diverse watershed management, water quality assessment, and stormwater design projects.
Mark's water resources background includes watershed management and master planning; coastal resiliency and adaptation studies, floodplain management; pollutant load assessment; National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System compliance; low impact development (LID); environmental resource permitting; and hydrologic, hydraulic, hydrodynamic, and groundwater flow modeling. He also has extensive experience with GIS applications for spatial analysis, planimetric mapping, and data visualization.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is an environmental regulatory agency of the state of Florida whose work is focused on ensuring a long-term supply of drinking water, and to protect and restore the health of water bodies in the district's 18 counties in northeast and east-central Florida. While the district works closely with utilities on water supply issues, the district is not a water supplier.
Learn more about: https://www.sjrwmd.com/.
Learn more about Mark: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/mark-ellard
Learn more about Lee: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leemullon/
Learn more about Mike: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-hardin-ph-d-p-e-1a86b314/