Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Water Resources Program]

Graduate/Undergraduate Courses

Senior Design 2007-2008

Two Senior Design teams were formed for the 2007-2008 academic year. The two projects developed for the year are: Implementation of Best Management Practices to the Retrofit of a Stormwater Detention Basin in Hillsborough, New Jersey and Developing a Small Business in Response to a Stormwater Utility for the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Implementation of Best Management Practices to the Retrofit of a Stormwater Detention Basin in Hillsborough, New Jersey

Faculty Advisor: Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E. and Sean Walsh

Student Team Members: The Barish Group - Jeffrey Alt, Adam Goldschmidt, Sumantha Prasad, Chris Thiel

Project Description:

Description and Objective of Research ~
This project’s purpose is to improve stormwater quality of a specified drainage area through retrofitting an existing detention basin with best management practices and other innovative solutions which will lower the maintenance required to keep the detention basin functional. The current detention basin was designed to keep the surrounding area from flooding and little consideration was given to improving the stormwater quality. Moreover, the current detention basin’s maintenance needs are not currently being met. Our proposed designed utilizes rain gardens to treat stormwater influent into the basin from various sources such as roadways, home owner properties (roofs, driveways, lawns) and wooded areas. Additionally, the current concrete low flow channel will be removed and naturalized to allow for infiltration into the ground. One section of the naturalized flow channel will be meandered which will also increase infiltration. The remaining detention basin will be naturalized which will improve stormwater quality and reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep the detention basin functional and aesthetically pleasing. The detention basin is designed to avoid offending residents by not impairing vision while driving, abstaining from intruding onto home owner properties, and preventing water from pooling which may promote mosquito breeding. The proposed design was done by keeping the spirit of the P3 competition in mind.

Summary of Findings ~
There are several sources of runoff in the area surrounding Wescott Road in Hillsborough, NJ, including rooftops, driveways, lawns, roads, and wooded areas. This runoff carries with it suspended solids and other contaminants, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, organic pollutants, bacteria, and metals. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recommends engineered Best Management Practices (BMPs) to treat the water quality storm, which is defined as 1.25” of rain during a two hour time span. Treatment of the water quality storm accounts for treatment of approximately 90% of New Jersey rainstorms. In order to allow for greater infiltration and subsequently greater water treatment, the team decided to implement the BMP of rain gardens/bioretention basins. The rain gardens capture the water from the water quality storm and allow it to infiltrate into the subsurface, while also decreasing the area that needs to be mowed. While not technically BMPs, the team also chose other innovative design solutions including a meandered flow channel which worked to increase the time of concentration and subsequently increase the rate of infiltration; and naturalizing the remaining area with native plants. Naturalizing the area also increases the rates of infiltration and allows for decreased maintenance of the area by eliminating the need for mowing altogether.

Conclusions ~
The goal of the design is two-fold: reducing pollutant loading rates and decreasing maintenance within the basins. The addition of rain gardens, flow channel meandering, and naturalization of the area will improve water quality while increasing the aesthetics of the area. The increased aesthetics will allow for increased property value of the area. Additionally, while it will take a few years to pay off the construction and planting costs of the design, after that time the municipality could appropriate the savings from reduced maintenance costs to other areas of the local budget, thus improving the quality of life

Project Deliverables:

2008 Rutgers P3 Desing Team - Hillsborough Group - Fact Sheet

Wescott Detention Basins, The Barish Group, May 2, 2008 - PowerPoint presentation

Retrofitting a Stormwater Detention Basin - poster presentation

Implementation of Best Management Practices to the Retrofit of a Stormwater Detention Basin in Hillsborough, New Jersey - final report

Appendix A - Maps & Diagrams
Appendix B - Engineering Plans

Appendix C - Hydrographs
Appendix D - Cost Analysis - Construction
Appendix D - Cost Analysis - Plants
Appendix E - Image Processing

Developing a Small Business in Response to a Stormwater Utility for the New Jersey Meadowlands

Faculty Advisors: Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E. and Beth Ravit, Ph.D.

Student Team Members: The Moonachie Group - Robert Flaherty, Kathleen Kang, Michael Rashkovsky, Jericho Silang

Project Description:

Background ~
Rutgers University was contracted by the Meadowlands Commission to determine the feasibility of a Stormwater Utility. 

The New Jersey Meadowlands District is an area of approximately 18,000 acres  located in the middle of a natural wetlands system. The constant development of the area for the past 150 years has resulted in the transformation of 10,000 acres of wetlands into a commercial center surrounded by 8,000 acres of wetlands. Due to a combination of the low lying elevation of the area, excessive urbanization, disruption of the natural hydrology of the basin and other factors, a significant amount of the sections of the District are in constant distress from regularly occurring flooding events.

Scope ~
This project will approach sustainability on three fronts, the protection of property and health (people), the protection of industry (prosperity), and the protection of  wetlands (planet).  Once flooding issues are addressed, the damage to property, as well as the interruption of the daily transit that occurs in this area, can be eased.

Objectives & Goals ~
The proposed design by the Moonachie Group, along with the business plan, will demonstrate to the greater community of the New Jersey Meadowlands Region that proper design of BMPs can have a positive effect on the environment and the lives of the residents in that  environment.  The business plan helps demonstrates how a Stormwater Utility will maintain and improve the stormwater infrastructure of the New Jersey Meadowlands Region.

This project will address the topic of sustainability environmentally and financially.  The creation of the Stormwater Utility will greatly reduce pressures on the environment by eliminating strenuous water inputs of higher quantity and lower quality.  In doing so, the Utility will provide funding to restore the environment from years of human damage, and at the same time will provide funding to repair, maintain, and replace failing stormwater infrastructure in a cost-effective manner. The Stormwater Utility will be self sustaining by creating user fee based funds to pay for it’s own projects.

Review of Financial Market ~
The Stormwater Utility Feasibility Report was issued in July 2007.  Presently, the State of New Jersey is working to pass legislation to allow for the creation of stormwater utilities in New Jersey.  Stormwater utilities are rapidly becoming a necessity in the State for managing aging infrastructure and minimizing the impact of vast impervious surfaces.  The creation of these utilities will result in charging fees to residents and business owners to support better stormwater  management that will reduce flooding and improve water quality.

This business plan uses the fee structures outlined in the Stormwater Utility Feasibility Report to evaluate the future of the market available to a small business in the region.  There are several fee structures suggested in the flat rates, gross parcel area, impervious coverage area, intensity development factor, runoff coefficient and fixed base amount.  While the report suggests all of these fee structures as options for the Stormwater Utility it recommends the impervious coverage or Intensity Development Factor as the two preferred fee structures. The Impervious Coverage structure will base the fee on a flat rate charged to the user by the amount of impervious coverage on their property.

Project Deliverables:

2008 Rutgers P3 Desing Team - Moonachie Group - Fact Sheet

Business Brochure - Moonachie Group

Developing a Small Business in Response to a Stormwater Utility for the New Jersey Meadowlands - poster

Developing a Small Business in Response to a Stormwater Utility for the New Jersey Meadowlands - Final Report

Developing a Small Business in Response to a Stormwater Utility for the New Jersey Meadowlands - Business Plan