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Controlling Stormwater Chamber System Design

Controlling Stormwater Chamber System Design

In the around-the-clock world of the professional engineer where near-immediate response to clients is paramount to success, land development design programs are more than just software.  For Rachel Barese, P.E. founder and president of Civil Tec Engineering and Surveying in Rockland County, just north of New York City, one program is providing the required accuracy with expediency for stormwater management systems. 

“I have been using the ADS StormTech design tool, and it helps especially in preliminary calculations and trying to get layouts to fit,” she explained, “and to see what will work.  It has been really helpful for us and has expedited our process.  My firm focuses on land development and we use stormwater design on nearly all of our projects.  This tool helps because we’re able to have information earlier on in the process and drawings that we’re able to provide to the municipalities with our plan design sets.”

Civil Tec Engineering & Surveying, P.C. was founded in 2012 by Barese and two others. Today, Civil Tec serves clients in the government, commercial, and private residential markets from their headquarters office in Rockland County and supporting offices in Orange County and the Capital region.  The firm is a disadvantaged business 

Enterprise as certified by the New York State Department of Transportation, and a Women-Owned Business Enterprise as certified by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“During the past ten years, we have done, on the larger side, housing subdivisions, multi-family housing.” Barese explained.  “We’ve also done shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, schools, houses of worship, so a big range.  In New York State, the DEC has requirements for any project that’s over an acre of disturbance.  Not only do we have to meet a requirement of zero net increase in runoff, we’re also required to help clean the water.  I frequently find that no one really wants to spend any money on drainage because you can’t see it, but they have no problem having marble countertops or top of the line finishes.  Drainage that you can’t see is not something that they really are too thrilled about.  But I remind everyone that they don’t have a choice.  This is a requirement.  This is not a want.  This is a must.  With ADS StormTech detention systems, you’re able to add what they call the Isolator Row that is a cost-effective way to meet the regulations, and their new design tool makes it easy for me to put that in.”

The StormTech Isolator® Row PLUS catches and prevents sediment and other Total Suspended Solids (TSS) from settling at the bottom of the bed and slowing the infiltration rate.  It can be cleaned out using the JET-VAC® process.  “It’s easy to incorporate into the design,” Barese offered, “we don’t have to fit in another different structure.  It is verified by NJCAT and it counts for the quality and the quantity of the system which is a great benefit.

“Before ADS developed the program, we were sending our information to Justin Piccillo, who is the ADS professional engineer and product manager for our area,” she said, “and he would provide what would be needed for the project.  But now the StormTech design tool allows us to do it on our own.  Sometimes we’re working at odd hours, or it’s something that all of a sudden someone has to have to have right away.  Now we’re able to do more on our own and on our own timetable.  We’ve always been quick with a turnaround, but now we’re really in control.

“Justin conducted a virtual meeting for us and showed us the various ways and places to input information.  This tutorial really made a difference.  My recommendation would be to talk to your local representative just like we did and go through the program step by step to see how to get everything set up, and how to add the information.  It proved to save so much time overall because now I can see what we need to do and how to get there.”

According to ADS, the design of the StormTech chambers allows engineers to maximize the storage volume provided in a limited footprint, which is an important consideration on sites where space constraints require efficiency in each square foot.  Another advantage is the chamber’s ability to handle top load strength enabling the system to be installed under a parking lot.

“Sometimes there are hundreds or even thousands of chambers that are required for a site that could have acres of stormwater collection, multiple collection sites and environmental regulation requirements that must be met,” Piccillo offered.  “The StormTech Design Tool makes it possible for an engineer, just like Rachel does, to incorporate site-specific information, quickly create customized CAD layouts plus edit and save a design for review and modification.  Customers looking to design underground stormwater management systems, can easily access the application through the ADS website.  They can input site specific information and quickly produce 

a StormTech system layout in both CAD and PDF formats.  The result is a custom-tailored stormwater management system that can be immediately utilized in project documents.”  

The ADS StormTech Design Tool also allows customers to evaluate the feasibility of above ground pond replacement, alternative underground products, land values and usage, regulatory compliance, rainwater harvesting, stormwater quality, green infrastructure applications and more.  Users can also add and specify a variety of durable, cost-effective ADS products to the StormTech design, including N-12® and HP pipe products as well as Nyloplast®  basins and Inserta-Tee® lateral connections.     

StormTech chambers are utilized in a variety of construction project types to provide underground storage of stormwater in an efficient footprint.  The chambers are designed in accordance with AASHTO and ASTM design standards, meet AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications for a 75-year service life.  

Chamber size ranges from 15 cubic feet of minimum installed storage to 162.6 cubic feet of installed storage.  The StormTech chamber is designed in accordance with ASTM F2787 and AASHTO standards and manufactured in accordance with ASTM F2418, qualifying it for commercial and municipal projects.  The chambers have a 75-year design service life, and are manufactured using a high-performance impact modified polypropylene (PP).  According to ADS, StormTech chambers exceed AASHTO 12.12 LRFD requirements for both live load and dead loads for a 2-1 safety factor.  

“An underground detention system is usually the least invasive and most cost-effective choice,” according to Piccillo.  “The StormTech chambers are designed so the system can be easily split into multiple beds to handle even a million or more gallons of 

water, allowing design engineers to direct the pipe to multiple locations where the water is stored until it is infiltrated back into the ground.”

 Barese also likes the fact that the tool can help with preliminary work with a client.  “Now we’re able to actually depict it, which helps as far as the presentation aspect that begins a project.  In the past we would hold off on getting more complete plans until later in the process, so the StormTech tool helps us to educate our client with more complete and detailed plans. And later on, we can quickly make any changes and immediate feedback of what it’s going to look like.  It’s so convenient to have this resource in house.”

The StormTech Design Tool can be accessed for free at:  www.adspipe.com under the ‘Resources’ tab.