News Feature | April 28, 2014

Stormwater Management A Priority In Maryland City

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

rain

As a city in Maryland moves to upgrade its stormwater facilities, it may be playing catch up. 

"It’s time to bring the city into the 21st century," the Sentinel reported.

Rockeville was awarded a fund of $1 million to make the upgrade possible. "The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.5 million with $3.1 million for construction and $400,000 for design," the report said. 

The effort will complete a project known as the Horizon Hill Storm Water Management plan.

This plan "will turn three drainage ponds – the Sunrise, Pebble Ridge, and Longhill Ponds – into mini reservoirs. The reservoirs will remove nutrients from the water, slowing down erosion and runoff from the Watts Branch stream," the report said. 

The goal is to provide Rockville with "enhanced water quality and stormwater management and restoration and protection of the stream valley," according to the city. It is an "attempt to keep pollutants out of the Watts Branch watershed," according to the Gazette

"While rainwater typically stays in the dry ponds for about 48 hours, it would stay in the wet ponds longer, giving sediment and nutrients time to settle to the bottom of the ponds. The result would be cleaner water flowing into Watts Branch," the Gazette said. 

The grant has forced the city to meet certain criteria for the project. Craig Simoneau, director of Rockville’s Department of Public Works, noted "that the grant has a timeline attached to it, limiting how much the city can slow down its design process," the Gazette reported.

Some locals have expressed concerns that the project could have a negative impact on their sewage systems. 

"Robert Plotkin of Glastonberry Road said he was concerned that a concrete apron designed to protect the sewage line behind his house would leak. Plotkin said he has lived in the house since 1968 and hasn’t seen any problems, and he suggested putting the money toward other projects," the report said. 

Image credit: "rain," © 2011 mxgirl85, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

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