Leigh Meadow/Towlston Basin Stream Restoration and BMP Retrofits: A Tale of Constraints, Creativity, and Collaboration

Fred Wilkins, PE, Engineer IV, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Planning Division

Joseph Vaughn, Environmental Planner, Stantec

Megan McCollough, PE, CFM, Senior Engineer, Stantec

Under a Stream Stabilization/Restoration, Environmental, Permitting & Ancillary Services Basic Ordering Agreement, Stantec was awarded a Task Order by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) to provide Stream Restoration and Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) Retrofit Design and Construction Administration services for the Leigh Meadow/Towlston Basin project in Fairfax County, Virginia.

This project proposed the restoration of approximately 1,663 linear feet (LF) of stream and the retrofit of two stormwater management basins to address stability concerns and improve water quality within a highly urbanized portion of Vienna, Virginia. One of the retrofits was a Regenerative Storm Conveyance (RSC) system, and the other was a sand filter – only the second one built for Fairfax County.  Through proactive collaboration amongst DPWES, Stantec, Environmental Quality Resources, L.L.C. (EQR), two homeowner associations, Carroll County Maryland, and several other stakeholders,  innovative, site-specific solutions were explored and implemented to achieve a feasible design which satisfied key project goals.

In this presentation, we will discuss the multi-year process of community interaction, project challenges and constraints, and the evolution of the design objectives. We will feature the collaborative process throughout the project, including application of alternative design and construction approaches influenced by lessons learned from previous projects in Carroll County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, and summarize takeaways from the project following construction.

Author Bio

Fred has worked in the stormwater field for Fairfax County since 2009. Throughout that time he has been involved with multiple water quality improvement projects that include stream restorations, detention basin retrofits, and green infrastructure. He enjoys trying new approaches to solving stormwater challenges and treating stormwater runoff where established techniques may not be suitable.

Joe has worked on multiple ecosystem projects within Fairfax County for 3 years. He has been involved largely with the construction phase of stream restoration with some experience in pre-design and post-construction activities. He enjoys working with stakeholders and other professionals to achieve a common goal of improving water quality with a focus on sustainability.

Megan has 15 years of experience, focused on collaborative stormwater and ecosystem restoration projects as both a designer and project manager. She currently serves as Stantec's National Technical Lead for Surface Hydrology.