Significance of Field Inspections and Application of Findings

Jessica Slagle, EIT, Project Engineer, Timmons Group

Hailey Fry, Project Engineer, Timmons Group

Modeling stormwater facilities accurately in hydraulic programs depends greatly on facility specific characteristics, including stage-storage and elevation-discharge curves. It is typically assumed that these facilities are in ‘good’ operating condition with full design capacity. True field conditions, however, may uncover factors prohibiting these facilities from achieving true design capacities.

It is imperative that best management practices, or BMPS, are maintained to provide their design level of service. Field inspections provide critical information on the state of the facilities’ infrastructure. Plans and previous inspection reports are helpful to determine if the facility is operating as intended or if maintenance items are being addressed as needed.

Modeling true field conditions provides data that can drastically change the results of a proposed drainage study. Examples of this include; basins filling with sediment (thus altering stage-storage relations), pipes filling with debris (reducing the effective pipe diameter) and roadside ditches not being maintained (decreasing capacity and potentially increasing water surface elevation).


Author Bio

Jessica: Jessica is a Project Engineer in the Stormwater Services Group. She focuses on stream restoration and MS4 compliance. Jessica has performed multiple analyses to demonstrate proof of concept for implementation of proposed design alternatives using RiverMorph software. Her contributions also include compiling numerous reports pertaining to existing and in-progress BMP inspections. Jessica is proficient in other software, including Civil3D, HEC-RAS, ARC-GIS, and HEC-HMS.

Hailey: Hailey is a Project Engineer in the Stormwater Services Group. She focuses on urban drainage improvement projects and dam safety. Hailey has performed multiple analyses to demonstrate proof of concept for implementation of proposed design alternatives using SWMM software. She also has experience compiling reports for drainage improvement and flood studies. Hailey is proficient in other software, including Civil3D, HEC-RAS, ARC-GIS, and HEC-HMS.