November 23, 2020

What Green Can Mean for Gwinnett County, GA

By Lucy Noya

I knew I wanted to improve our environments for future generations back when I was in elementary school and I learned that water pollution was primarily caused by human activity. Since then, I’ve dedicated my career to finding new ways to improve waterways, minimizing erosion, and creating green communities.

Green infrastructure requires many steps and proactive planning.

In 2018, our Baltimore and Atlanta staff were excited for the opportunity to work alongside Gwinnett County, GA – a leader of smart stormwater management in the Southeast – to plan and design green infrastructure as part of its watershed protection plan. To meet current and future Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requirements, Gwinnett County is growing its green infrastructure program. At RK&K, our staff has delivered quality green infrastructure projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, so we were able to combine that experience with implementing green infrastructure projects in metro Atlanta to meet Gwinnett County’s objectives and deliver a tailored approach to local clients.

Green infrastructure requires many steps and proactive planning. For this project, we conducted specialized research, studies, feasibility assessments, and contract document development to protect and improve water quality and aquatic habitat. Our team performed professional services including public education and outreach which are extremely important for keeping the community informed and obtaining stakeholder buy-in along with project site selection and prioritization, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, design, permitting, bid documents, construction management and inspection support, and monitoring.

RK&K has been a leader in performing comprehensive evaluations and implementing all components of the NPDES Phase I and Phase II MS4 program.

Our team has worked with a variety of private and public sector clients, including federal, state, and local governments, providing multidisciplined planning such as MS4 compliance, engineering, environmental, and construction phase services. Throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions, we offer innovative and cost-effective solutions to effectively implement and meet National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 permit requirements. RK&K has been a leader in performing comprehensive evaluations and implementing all components of the NPDES Phase I and Phase II MS4 program.

The Tribble Creek Green Infrastructure Watershed Master Plan

The Tribble Creek Watershed Master Plan

We always seek to bring value to our clients by delivering an excellent product and providing innovative solutions and value can be weighted in many ways. One of the most challenging, but rewarding, tasks was developing the Tribble Creek watershed study by using a watershed analysis and green infrastructure tool to determine areas of likely impairment and then prioritizing best management practices with a scoring system. This scoring system was based on several critical factors, including cost efficiency relating to the estimated pounds of pollutants removed per year versus the overall project cost. When prioritizing projects, community value is just as important as cost.

WATCH: Using Cross Roller Tool to Level and Screed Pervious Concrete

Though it looked small at first, another great project that made a big difference, was the design and construction of a pervious concrete parking lot at the Shoal Creek Filter Plant. To achieve water quality and meet the 100-year quantity control at the site, our team designed a new 36-space lot where standing water had been an issue for years. We created a concept design, performed a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, developed final construction documents, and provided construction support services for the County. Gwinnett County was so pleased with the results, they requested RK&K design another pervious parking lot at a different facility.

Through extensive collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork, we successfully delivered multiple projects for Gwinnett County and I couldn’t be prouder of the RK&K Team to have been a part of creating a greener, and cleaner, Georgia.

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