May 13, 2015

Coming Back from the Storm

University of Louisville uses SRPE pipe to prevent flooding and replenish aquifer

University of Louisville uses SRPE pipe to prevent flooding and replenish aquifer

On August 4, 2009, a massive, unprecedented flood hit the University of Louisville, with 7.2 in. of rain falling in just 78 minutes. The storm caused $21 million in damage to 92 campus buildings. Since then, the university has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of such storms.

Part of the solution was the construction of a subsurface infiltration basin to accept storm water runoff and replenish the local aquifer. Engineers at Qk4 had a number of design challenges to overcome. First was the limited footprint, as the system was to be installed in the infield of the track-and-field area. Second was the ability to expand the system. The proposed system would handle a portion of the flooding and would be expanded to increase capacity when funding becomes available. Third was timing. The project had to be completed during the summer between the end of the NCAA track-and-field season and the start of the fall semester due to intramural events in the location of the system. Lastly was the presence of contaminated soils in the area, which could corrode a traditional metal system.

Engineers chose an infiltration system made from 670 ft of 120-in.-diameter perforated DuroMaxx steel-reinforced polyethylene (SRPE), providing 393,640 gal of storage. The 10-ft-diameter DuroMaxx system was chosen because of its ability to store a large volume of water in a small footprint, and the system can be expanded in the future. The engineers also wanted to use DuroMaxx because of its ability to withstand the corrosion of the contaminated soil. A Contech VortSentry HS was also included to provide pretreatment and as a single point for maintenance and cleanout.

Timing was also a factor. As DuroMaxx is lightweight and easy to install, the entire system was installed in just one-and-a-half weeks. MAC Construction was very pleased with how quickly and easily the system was installed. It was also very pleased with the presence of a Contech field consultant, who was on site to provide support throughout the installation.

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