March 24, 2022

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Nick Muenks, Patrick VanDeWiele, and Lee Hauser to Present on Watershed and Urban Flooding at the MO-AWWA and the MWEA Joint Annual Meeting

Nicholas Muenks, HTIII WQ (Missouri), Patrick VanDeWiele, P.E. (Missouri), and Lee Hauser, P.E., CPESC‐IT (Oregon) to Present at the Missouri Section American Water Works Association (MO-AWWA) and the Missouri Water Environment Association (MWEA) Joint Annual Meeting on March 27 – 29, 2022.

Nick Muenks will present "Watershed-based Plans—a Friendly Alternative to a TMDL," and Patrick VanDeWiele and Lee Hauser will present "Leveraging Cost-effective Urban Flooding Assessment Tools for Missouri Communities."

Nick Muenks is a Principal Water Quality Scientist with more than 20 years of experience providing surface water investigations and water quality regulatory support to industrial, utility, and municipal clients.

Patrick VanDeWiele is a Project Engineer with more than 10 years of experience with a focus on hydraulic and hydrologic studies, levee systems and dams, coal combustion residuals (CCR) and mine tailings, and impoundments, as well as on industrial and construction stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) and spill prevention control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans.

Lee Hauser is a Water Resource Engineer who provides stormwater management analysis and flood risk assessments across the United States. He focuses on integrating detailed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling with stormwater planning, flood relief, and engineering design projects.

MO-AWWA promotes public health and welfare by assuring drinking water of unquestionable quality and sufficient quantity. A leader in the field of public drinking water, the association works to advance technology, science, and governmental policies to support professionals in the field in their stewardship of water resources.

MWEA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing water quality and water resources and strengthening the relationship of these resources to the total environment. The association advances information, increases public understanding, and promotes sound policy. MWEA strives to be Missouri's premier organization for water resources.

Presentation Information

Title: Watershed-Based Plans—a Friendly Alternative to a TMDL
Presenter: Nicholas Muenks
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 29th at approx. 2:10 p.m. CDT
Abstract: USEPA's Section 319 Nonpoint Source Clean Water Act grant guidelines refer to "9 minimum elements" of successful watershed projects that are developed and implemented with Section 319 funds. Developing a watershed-based plan (WBP) that adheres to these 9 elements has some distinct advantages for local governments that are looking to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for wastewater and municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). An approved 9 element WBP is required before local governments and other stakeholders are eligible to obtain Section 319 and other federal funds for improving and protecting the health of local watersheds. If approved as part of the Category Alt-5 designation process through USEPA, WBPs can also substitute for total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), potentially achieving the same objectives as the TMDL at lower costs and with less regulatory burdens. While TMDLs are "top-down" regulatory tools, WBPs are "bottom-up" and foster collaboration among the parties responsible for implementing projects.

Missouri recently adopted a checklist used by EPA Region 7 to evaluate whether a WBP adheres to USEPA's 9 elements. This presentation will describe the development of a WBP for the Greater Bonne Femme watershed (GBFW) in Missouri, which is the first WBP in Missouri to be evaluated using the checklist. The GBFW consists of 92.4 square miles of mixed land use including row cropping, livestock, residential development, and recreation. The watershed contains sensitive karst habitats, Outstanding State Resource Waters, and losing stream hydrology that are vulnerable to water quality degradation. Several streams in the GBFW are listed as impaired for E. coli and have reported high levels of nutrients and sediment. Boone County and project partners completed the development of a WBP for the GBFW to address the above water quality concerns. The WBP provides a road map toward achieving GBFW water quality improvement goals and protecting the natural resources in the watershed. The WBP includes recommendations for Best Management Practices implementation to strategically reduce impacts of nonpoint sources on stream water quality, as well as outreach and education strategies for engaging local landowners during the implementation phase of the plan. Lessons learned from the WBP development process in the GBFW will be shared with the audience.

Time: Leveraging Cost-effective Urban Flooding Assessment Tools for Missouri Communities
Presenters: Patrick VanDeWiele and Lee Hauser
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 29th at approx. 1:10 p.m. CDT
Abstract: Municipalities throughout Missouri face a multitude of stormwater-related challenges—urban flooding, aging infrastructure, land development pressure, streambank erosion, water quality regulations, and public push for resiliency. While managing budget constraints and addressing changes in rainfall patterns, municipalities have the daunting task to demonstrate progress. To help alleviate this burden, municipalities need to have a reliable and cost-effective approach that can be used to identify flood risk areas and objectively prioritize solutions, while achieving socioeconomic benefits and objectives. The presentation will explore how an approach has been and can be developed to guide municipalities, municipal agencies (e.g., St. Louis MSD, KC Water, Columbia Public Works Department) and regional planning commissions and councils (e.g., Mid-America Regional Council, Southwest Missouri Council of Governments) to actively participate through this planning process.

The foundation of this approach is completing a baseline assessment of flood mitigation needs, even where detailed hydraulic and hydrologic modeling is unavailable. The ability to complete a reliable and cost-effective baseline assessment where detailed hydraulic and hydrologic modeling is not available has been an insurmountable hurdle to many communities. The baseline assessment bridges the gap between understanding flood mitigation needs within a community and prioritizing effective solutions. The assessment is a cost-effective method to begin the development of flood mitigation strategies and the implementation of flood mitigation solutions that are locally defined, locally driven, and enable collaborative partnerships with neighboring communities and regional, state, and federal agencies. Where communities do not have access to local storm sewer models or the resources to develop robust models, the assessment can be performed through a standardized protocol using readily available data (e.g., LiDAR and land cover) to identify flood risk areas and prioritize flood mitigation needs. Geosyntec has worked collaboratively with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to help Chicagoland communities address urban flooding and become more resilient by assessing baseline conditions and prioritizing implementation strategies in communities without detailed infrastructure models. These same tools and protocols are applicable for Missouri communities.

The baseline assessment is adjustable to meet each community's flood mitigation needs, objectives, and available data. The approach builds upon the baseline assessment to guide a community through a process to prioritize areas at the project scale, sewershed scale, or community scale that best achieve local objectives. The approach results in the development of a series of maps and tables that can be used by planners, public work directors, and engineers to develop holistic, multi-beneficial solutions to stormwater-related issues. Attendees will gain insight into how Geosyntec has helped CMAP and MWRD leverage readily available data, and develop tailored analytical protocols to identify flood risk areas; understand potential causes or sources of existing flooding; prioritize flood risk implementation and screening for opportunity locations best suited for flood mitigation based on land use; and formulate policies and strategies that help communities work toward becoming more resilient to urban flooding.

More Information

About the event: Missouri Water Environment Association - Meeting/Event Information (
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