Sep 06, 2019

Boston College Manages Flooding for New Facilities

A storm water detention system was strategically placed inside the new Athletic Field to store water for two main flooding areas.
A storm water detention system was strategically placed inside the new Athletic Field to store water for two main flooding areas.

Boston College recently added new facilities that include new football, baseball, softball and intramural fields, and a new recre- ation center. The Athletic Field House, Boston College’s new $52.6 million indoor practice facility, was one of the amenities constructed at the Chestnut Hill Campus last year. The Field House is a 115,700-sq-ft facility that provides indoor practice space for Boston College football and other varsity sports.

Due to recurring flooding issues on campus, the existing storm water management plan needed to be upgraded. Two to four times per year, the college experienced flooding events on campus at various locations. Some areas saw flooding up to 3.5 ft deep. After evaluating several alterna- tives to mitigate the flooding, Waterfield Design Group chose to partner with StormTrap to design a detention system that provided additional underground storage needed for this site.

A storm water detention system was strategically placed inside the new Athletic Field to store water for two main flooding areas: the Alumni Stadium and the Beacon Street parking garage. Additional pipes also were placed at the location of high flooding occurrences.

“During high flow events, the pipes collect the water right before it breaks the surface of the structures and directs it to the StormTrap system where storm water will be detained until the storm has subsided, and the stored water can be released into the main drainage system,” said Jacob R. Murray, P.E., senior civil engineer for Waterfield Design Group.

The StormTrap system was essential in maximizing the storage capacity within the site’s constrained footprint inside the building. The basin is composed of modular precast concrete units 8-ft, 4-in. tall and provided 7.57 acre ft of storm water detention storage. Suffolk Construction installed the 688-piece StormTrap system in two weeks.

Because of the high groundwater table onsite, the basin had to be watertight. The small seams between the DoubleTrap units (i.e., 3/4-in. or less) made it possible to cost-effectively seal the units to prevent groundwater infiltration into the units.

“StormTrap was chosen for this project for its vertical size units, ability to be made watertight, ease of installation, and its ability to maximize the void storage space within the units,” Murray said.

The Boston College Athletic Field is now available for student-athletes to train year-round, and flooding is no longer a concern.

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