Dec 04, 2020

Storm Water Management System Helps Filtration Efforts

This is a Storm Water Solutions 2020 Top Project.


Location: Pico Rivera, California

Cost: $1.9 million

Size: 5.2 acres; 11,200 cubic feet of rainwater; 8,800 cubic feet capacity infiltration system

Owner: Water Replenishment District

Manager: Phuong Watson, PE & Robb Whitaker, PE 

Designer: Tetra Tech 

Contractor: JF Shea Construction

Manufacturer: Contech Engineered Solutions

An integrated storm water management system at The Albert Roles Center (ARC) for Water Recycling & Environmental Learning is helping to maximize on-site filtration and on/off-site groundwater recharge in Pico Rivera, California. 

The ARC is a multi-purpose site on 5.2 acres that houses a 48,000 square-foot, 14 million gallon per day, advanced water treatment facility, digital 25,000 square-foot learning center and demonstration gardens. The technologies at the water treatment facility purify 10,000 acre-feet of tertiary-treated recycled water per year.

This project was specifically designed to retain and infiltrate the storm runoff volume from a 24-hour, 85th percentile storm event calculated to 0.95 inches and 11,200 cubic feet of rainwater, according to project stakeholders. 

Components of the storm water management system include pervious pavement in the parking lot to control runoff and promote storm water infiltration, five bioretention basins to receive first storm flush flows and provide on-site flow retention and infiltration, and an underground treatment and infiltration system, which is designed to capture and retain approximately 8,800 cubic feet of runoff. 

A rooftop garden was constructed atop ARC to capture and harvest rainfall, and drought-tolerant plants are located around the property, which are irrigated with a low-flow drip system, which further reduces storm water runoff and potential pollutant discharges. 

“The ARC site is both a functioning water treatment facility and an education center,” said Robb Whitaker, general manager for the Water Replenishment District. “The entire site has been designed with education in mind. Visitors will see what porous concrete and permeable pavers look like, they can see vibrant bioswales with California native vegetation in action, and they can learn about storm water capture for the purpose of groundwater replenishment through interpretive signs in the garden and numerous interactive exhibits in the Learning Center.”

About the author

Winner profiles were compiled by SWS Managing Editor Katie Johns and Associate Editor Cristina Tuser. Johns can be reached at [email protected] and Tuser can be reached at [email protected]