In service delivery we are often tasked with delivering a product or service that is better, faster and cheaper. This is the nature of our economy and part of the definition of customer service. In today’s world this may not be enough, as we may also be required to meet various other requirements including minimized risk, sustainability and environmental considerations. The City of Montgomery Public Works staff is currently completing a stormwater improvement project that has exceeded expectations in all of the above areas.
The City has developed a rain harvest system that includes the installation of a 5,000 gallon water tank that captures rain water runoff from approximately 5,700 square feet of roof area. The captured water will be used during the winter months to make salt brine for winter snow removal operations and during the summer months to water the enormous volume of annual flowers and hanging baskets throughout Montgomery. The rain harvest system will also eliminate the current rain water runoff that would normally be routed to a detention basin near the front of the facility resulting in a positive impact to the drainage system as it moves downstream.
The project also included the conversion of a detention basin to a retention pond resulting in the excavation of approximately 2,400 cubic yards of earth material to convert the existing basin to a pond. The existing outlet structure will be removed and replaced with a multi-stage structure that will allow for a permanent pond of water to be maintained and provide a controlled stormwater release during rain events and reduce the amount and volume of stormwater runoff to the downstream tributary. The new retention pond will also provide substantial water quality improvements by reducing the amount of pollution and sediments being introduced into the downstream drainage system. Native wetland vegetation will be planted around the perimeter of the retention pond to reduce erosion and further enhance water quality benefits.
The final component of this successful stormwater improvement project required a partnership between Public Works staff and a private developer to transport approximately 2,400 cubic yards of earth material excavated for the retention pond to a development site in which the City is a partner. These recycling efforts resulted in a cost savings of nearly $24,000 for the public/private development project as it reduced the amount of imported earth material required for the development.
The total cost of the rain harvest system and conversion of a detention basin to a retention pond was $87,000. A grant in the amount of $69,184 received from the Hamilton County Storm Water District combined with the $24,000 savings for the development resulted in an overall $6,184 positive impact to our community. Additional cost savings are expected to total $5,000 within the first three years while the positive environmental impacts will be everlasting.
When we challenge each other to “consider the possibilities”, or ask each other “Why not?”, there is very little that cannot be accomplished. This can lead to solutions like the one being developed at the City of Montgomery’s Public Works facilities, where vision, values and innovation intersect in creating a service delivery system benefiting a multitude of users!