May 31, 2019

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Geosyntec Practitioners Presented on Water Distribution and Stormwater Management at the GAWP Spring Conference & Expo

Shira Colsky, P.E., Jared Eubanks, P.E., Antonio Sanchez, P.E. (Georgia), and Jessie Fears (Tennessee) presented on water distribution and stormwater management at the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference & Expo at the Columbus Trade Center in Columbus, Georgia on April 23-24, 2019.

Shira is a Process and Remedial Design Engineer based in Georgia with experience in the fields of environmental, civil, and chemical engineering. Her focus areas include project management, modeling water distribution systems, process design and optimization, remedial technology selection, engineering calculations, data analysis and visualization, fieldwork, and reporting. She manages groundwater remediation at complex hazardous waste sites in Georgia and South Carolina.

Jared is a Civil and Environmental Engineering Consultant with over 12 years of professional experience in the civil and environmental engineering field. He specializes in stormwater and civil-site design, and his design experience includes site layout/grading, roads, stormwater management systems, and erosion-control best management practices (BMPs). He has worked for varied municipal and private clients in the metro Atlanta area and across the country.

Antonio is a Professional Engineer in Georgia and South Carolina with over nine years of environmental consulting experience. His experience includes developing stormwater infrastructure master planning studies, leading engineering design for stormwater management systems of waste disposal facilities, and implementing engineering design and oversight for streambank stabilization and stream restoration projects. Antonio has also worked with Engineers without Boarders, where he advised on the design of a water distribution and purification system and managed the construction of a water holding tank.

Jessie is an Engineer based in Tennessee that is focused on design services to municipalities and large industrial clients. She specializes in erosion and sediment control, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, civil site storm-water design, and stormwater permitting compliance support. Her experience includes development of stormwater pollution prevention plans and erosion and sediment control plans, stormwater BMP design, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, environmental dredging design, stormwater permitting and compliance audits, and low-flow groundwater sampling.

The Spring Conference & Expo is designed for operators and managers in and around the state of Georgia. Sessions cover topics such as water, wastewater, safety, maintenance, customer service, backflow prevention, ground water issues, public education, laboratory issues, distribution, and residuals recycling.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) is a not-for-profit association with membership of nearly 4,000 water and wastewater treatment plant operators and managers, municipal and industrial officials, stormwater and environmental managers, civil engineers, environmental engineers, scientists, manufacturers and their representatives, contractors, elected officials, and others concerned with Georgia's water resources. GAWP also has over 300 utility and corporate organizational members. GAWP's chief purpose is to educate and assist those who have an interest in the proper management and protection of Georgia's water resources.


Title: Modeling Supply and Demand:
Name: Shira Colsky, P.E.
Abstract: Helping Utilities Plan for Water Distribution System Changes Planning for the worst-case scenario is key to ensuring our public water utilities have the proper capabilities to meet future flow demands while maintaining water quality. Whether your city's or county's flow demands are expected to increase or decrease, a working model of your water distribution system can help predict which components of your system may fail (e.g., due to leaks, pressure surge/loss, sentiment buildup, or deterioration in water quality) due to changes in flow or demand.

This presentation focused on a project for a municipality in California. A new, continuously operated, first-priority supply source will be integrated into the existing water distribution system, which is currently comprised of several batch-operated pumping wells. As a result, available storage is a concern as they still need to keep the existing wells active. Modeling was used to predict the changes to their current pumping plan based on the changes to their potable water supply. The municipal water distribution system was modeled in Bentley's WaterGEMs software. Once the baseline model was created and calibrated, WaterGEMs performed the associated calculations for numerous transient flow scenarios, quickly producing outputs of key parameters including flow, velocity, and pressure. These outputs were used to assess the capabilities of the distribution system and revise the operational pumping plan. The calibrated hydraulic model was also used to estimate anticipated water quality conditions for select constituents.

Title: Stormwater Program Self-Assessment and Benchmark Comparison to Peer Municipalities:
An Example from Knox County, TN
Name: Jared Eubanks, P.E. and Jessie Fears
Abstract: Knox County, Tennessee (largest city is Knoxville) engaged in a proactive self-assessment of its stormwater program with the help of Geosyntec Consultants and conducted benchmark comparisons to three peer municipalities in Tennessee with a range of urbanization and development. These peer municipalities included Hamilton County (largest city is Chattanooga), Williamson County (largest city is Franklin which is part of the metropolitan Nashville area), and Washington County (largest city is Johnson City). One of the two purposes of this self-assessment and comparison to its regional counterparts is to guide Knox County in long-term planning and provide suggestions for changes and/or improvements. The other purpose is to assess the effectiveness of County resources and programmatic elements toward reaching the ultimate goal of water quality improvement within the County.

As a Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), Knox County is responsible for six minimum control measures (MCMs) which include: (i) public education and outreach; (ii) public involvement and participation; (iii) illicit discharge detection and elimination; (iv) construction site stormwater runoff program; (v) permanent stormwater management at new developments and redevelopments; and (vi) pollution prevention and good housekeeping. As of part the self-assessment and comparison, Geosyntec evaluated four key areas related to the six MCMs: design requirements, staffing, enforcement response plans, floodplain management.

For design requirements, manuals detailing various design requirements were reviewed for criteria related to water quality treatment volume, peak flow attenuation, downstream impact analyses, total suspended solids (TSS) removal, stream buffer widths, stormwater ponds, erosion and sediment control, and sediment basins. For staffing, the size, make-up, and organizational structure of the County stormwater staff were evaluated with respect to number of staff members per MCM and proposed best management practices (BMPs) implemented through the MS4 program. For enforcement response plans, the various potential violations, enforcement actions, and escalation protocol for repeat offenders were studied. For floodplain management, location requirements for residential and nonresidential structures, floodplain encroachment procedures based upon zone, and buffer requirements were analyzed.

The results of the self-assessment and benchmark comparisons provide the County with a rubric for areas of improvement in its stormwater program and important considerations for County leaders to keep in mind as the area continues to grow and develop. The lessons our neighbors to the north learned are relevant to many similar Georgia municipalities who are managing MS4 programs for small to mid-sized cities within the context of a surrounding rural area.

Title: Providing Stormwater Management Services at an Active Rail Yard and Remediation Site
Name: Antonio Sanchez, P.E.
Abstract: Stormwater management services, such as Best Management Practice (BMP) design or modeling, are often complimentary services at remediation sites where other technical services, such as subsurface remediation design and geotechnical design, are the focal points of projects. Client managers can integrate stormwater management services into their technical approaches to produce better solutions.

This site is located at an active rail yard that has been in operation since the late 1800s. A non-industrial office area is located within the site footprint. A previously designed stormwater management system for the office utilized an underground sand filter system for treating stormwater runoff from the site.

Geosyntec became involved to assist the client with investigating and remediating the groundwater and soils and coordinating the efforts with the regulators. Geosyntec developed a cross-practice approach to: (i) assess the site conditions; (ii) provide interim stormwater management to minimize stormwater runoff into the sand filter; (iii) develop a corrective action plan for the groundwater and soils; (iv) and design a new stormwater management system.

This presentation will demonstrate how stormwater management design serves can be integrated with and complement remediation designs and the final, constructed features. The presentation will summarize design challenges and the development of a geomembrane-lined, vertical-walled basin for achieving low-flow filtration and stormwater attenuation using structural and geoenvironmental design expertise.

More Information

About the GAWP Spring Conference & Expo and other conferences:
About GAWP:
For consultation regarding water and stormwater management, contact Shira Colsky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Jared Eubanks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Jessie Fears at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Antonio Sanchez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Shira:
Learn more about Jared:
Learn more about Jessie:
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