Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse in Montgomery County Parks


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Stormwater management is a vital practice that allows urban areas to mitigate negative water quality impacts associated with urban development. The Montgomery County Department of Parks seeks to increase their reuse of stormwater as part of its commitment to furthering sustainability practices within the parks system and to minimize their impact on the environment. The project seeks to assist the Department of Parks by researching possible stormwater harvesting and filtration systems to implement in Cabin John Regional Park. This paper examines stormwater reuse for irrigation on Shirley Povich Field, a baseball field located northwest of the ice rink. The four objectives for this research project were as follows: (1) assess current stormwater flow and collection potential off of hardscape around Cabin John Regional Park, (2) analyze similar projects elsewhere to build the groundwork for developing a plan to harvest stormwater, (3) develop a generalized set of procedures that provide options for stormwater harvesting at different locations within Montgomery County Parks using the data gathered in in Objective 1, and (4) develop the most efficient and cost effective system to harvest and filter stormwater. This paper will provide suggestions on possible placement of a system, ways to store the collected stormwater, and other recommendations for components of a stormwater reuse system. The processes used to generate these plans for Cabin John are summarized in Appendix A so that they can be applied to other Montgomery County Parks locations. This project comprises a number of fields related to environmental science and policy, scientific analysis of water quality, biological and ecological studies, topography analysis of the terrain of the park, the mechanics of stormwater management structures, economic analysis, and research of applicable policies and permitting processes associated with implementing such projects. Based on the research findings, a rainwater collection and reuse system for irrigating Shirley Povich Field would not be a financially reasonable decision for Cabin John Regional Park due to the high upfront implementation costs, which include retrofitting required and a low return on investment. However, this type of system may be more cost effective at new parks where retrofitting would not be required. A more cost-effective way Cabin John Regional Park could reduce its water demand would be investing in a smart irrigation system with a soil moisture sensor that would reduce water use without the prohibitive retrofitting costs.

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