Maywood Avenue Storm Water Volume Reduction Project
The city of Toledo, Ohio, specifically the Maywood neighborhood, was experiencing a problem with storm water and combined sewer overflow. City Commissioner of Environmental Services Tim Murphy cited aging infrastructure and increased rain as the heart of the problem, which left basements and homes flooded throughout the area.
“With our budget for capital improvement projects being reduced, it made sense to pursue a green infrastructure solution to the problem,” Murphy said. The design team from Tetra Tech also viewed the idea as a pilot project to see how effective green infrastructure might be nationally as a storm water runoff and water quality improvement measure.
Project planners decided a large-scale bioswale installation would provide the best solution. For funding, the city turned to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which contributed money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They also worked with Biohabitats and Toledo GROWS, the community outreach segment of the Toledo Botanical Gardens.
Tetra Tech conducted several simulations to see how the system would perform long-term. Using EPA’s Storm Water Management Model software, the designers estimated that average runoff would be reduced by as much as 64%; at peak flow, up to 70% of runoff could be eliminated.
Workers quickly found that the site, in the middle of an old urban residential area, presented a fair amount of challenges. Even so, construction of the bioswale was completed in just under a year.