Robins Air Force Base (Base) in Warner Robins, Georgia sought storm water infrastructure master planning and retrofitting for its existing system. The Base was initially constructed in 1941 on dairy farm pastureland and extensive growth has now transformed it into the current largest major defense/industrial installation in Georgia. The majority of stormwater runoff from the 11-square mile Base is conveyed to a wetland system along the eastern perimeter of the Base which constitutes the floodplain of Ocmulgee River. Rapid development at the Base has presented planning and water management issues found in most urbanized communities, including poor surface water quantity and quality controls. One of the most evident issues is frequent flooding which occurs in certain areas of the Base due to undersized or otherwise inadequate stormwater infrastructure. Another issue of concern is the existing water quality controls for stormwater runoff leaving the Base which have not been upgraded to meet the demands of rapid development. Future development at the Base is inevitable.
Geosyntec's Scope of Services
In 2004, the Base initiated an effort focused on improving water quality, protecting watershed resources and relieving flooding at the Base. The main focus of the effort was to develop a Base-wide Surface Water Model (BSWM) as an infrastructure master planning and retrofitting tool.
Geosyntec developed the BSWM to characterize water quantity and quality at the Base and the adjacent wetland system. The short-term objective of the BSWM was to provide a tool to evaluate infrastructure upgrades and retrofits, facilitate infrastructure master planning, and assist in Best Management Practice (BMP) planning and design. We developed the BSWM using U.S. EPA's Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) software which allows inclusion of long-term objectives in the model. As part of Geosyntec's long-term plan, the model will be expanded to include other capabilities, including integrating a Base-wide Groundwater Model to provide a comprehensive water resource model for the Base. Geosyntec completed the first phase of development of the BSWM which focused on one of the problem areas at the Base where frequent flooding occurs due to undersized stormwater infrastructure. Previous proposed solutions for this area recommended replacing the entire stormwater infrastructure in this area "? a cost prohibitive solution which was not implemented by the Base.
Geosyntec's innovative BSWM with built-in long term objectives allowed the development of customized tools and solutions for stormwater master planning on a large scale. Using the BSWM, Geosyntec recommended more optimized solutions which included the replacement/upgrades of specific sections of the infrastructure in problem areas which can be implemented at a much lower capital cost when compared with previously proposed solutions.