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October 28, 2015

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Geosyntec Celebrates Completion of a New Stormwater Management System for Maryland Elementary School

Project Engineer David Roman (Acton) and Sr. Engineer Bill Steier (Columbia, Maryland) attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 22nd to mark the completion of a green infrastructure project at the Conowingo Elementary School in Conowingo, Maryland.

The project, meant to function as both a stormwater management system and as part of the school’s science curriculum, included bioretention basins and swales, gravel wetlands, a green roof, pervious pavers, a rain garden, and a rainwater harvesting system. The water improvements were funded by a Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, with Cecil County adding additional funding.

One of the more innovative aspects of the stormwater management system is a “smart” 2,500-gallon rainwater cistern. What makes it so smart are electronically actuated drain and irrigation valves and sensors, all connected to an intelligent real-time monitoring and control platform provided by OptiRTC. The system is internet-enabled and continuously monitors weather forecasts to make real-time decisions such as automatically releasing stored water in the cistern prior to an expected rain event to maximize available storage in the tank when the rainfall arrives. The system also includes components to monitor soil moisture in an adjacent mulched flower bed, water level within a bioretention cell, and precipitation.

David and Bill and other Geosyntec personnel including Andrea Braga played a key role as part of a team on the project, providing design and engineering services, in addition to helping students, school faculty and staff, and other officials celebrate at the event.

Following the ceremony and ribbon cutting, guests toured the different elements of the project, and at each stop, Conowingo students were on hand to tell guests about what each element does. Many of the rainwater management projects use native plants to filter out pollutants and sediment and prevent them from entering local tributaries and Chesapeake Bay. Pervious pavers were also installed in the parking lot and in front of the green roof shed to allow water to drain into the ground and eventually flow into a pipe that drains into the road.

Click the link for more information about the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony