Katie Johns is the managing editor of Storm Water Solutions. She can be reached at kjohns@sgcmail.com. 
Nov 30, 2021

Enhancing Water Quality With Trash Capture

SWS Highlights the Top Storm Water & Erosion Control Projects

storm water

Location: Anaheim, California

Cost: $3,316,218

Size: 37,000 square feet

Owner: City of Anaheim

Managers: Gary Solsona, Kevin Miako & Tim Flint

Designers: Cannon & GHD

Contractors: GJ Gentry General Engineering Inc. & Ghirardelli Associates

Manufacturers: Jensen Precast & Acker-Stone

The main issues driving the project were to alleviate flooding within the Modjeska Park boundaries and surrounding neighborhoods, which were caused by an undersized storm drain. Enhancing local water quality was also a goal of the project.

The project was designed to capture and infiltrate 182-acre feet per year (AFY) of storm water that flowed untreated into storm drain channeling, and to the Pacific Ocean.

The project is the first to be completed as part of the Citywide Drought Resiliency Program, which aims to identify, inventory and compare all potential detention/retention sites within Anaheim and construct projects that have the capacity to capture and infiltrate up to 1,800 AFY of water.

The city of Anaheim, Cannon, Ghirardelli Associates, GHD, Group Delta, C Below, GJ Gentry Engineering, Inc. and StormSensor collaborated on the project.

A challenge was discovered after geotechnical investigation and percolation tests showed more favorable soils between 35 and 40 feet below grade, which was 10 to 15 feet deeper than the proposed depth of the infiltration gallery. The team proposed a series of 66 drywells to act as wicks underneath the system to assist with infiltration.

“Modjeska Park has performed incredibly well since completion. It has been able to capture and infiltrate 100% of the storm events since it was placed into service in July of 2020,” said Bill Grigsby, Anaheim Public Works engineer. “It has yet to have a storm event large enough to bypass this facility. Maintenance has not been a problem, and the trash capture facility has simplified the maintenance effort. The public has made many positive comments to staff and the infiltration on the parking lot has been universally welcomed.”

The benefits of the project include better water quality, reduced flooding and increased local water supply.


*Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misspelled Acker-Stone. SWS regrets the error. 

About the author

Winner profiles were compiled by SWS Managing Editor Katie Johns and Associate Editor Cristina Tuser. Johns can be reached at kjohns@sgcmail.com and Tuser can be reached at ctuser@sgcmail.com.