KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Burns & McDonnell has been selected by the City of Omaha, Neb., to design a stormwater and sanitary sewer separation project in the city's Country Club District. Located in North-Central Omaha, the historic Country Club District is served by an older system of combined storm and sanitary sewers that overflow during periods of heavy rainfall and result in discharges of pollutants into area lakes, streams and rivers. Burns & McDonnell recently opened an office in Omaha to coordinate project activities.
Sanitary and combined sewer overflows during wet weather are considered point discharges of pollutants under federal and state law. State and federal environmental authorities throughout the U.S. are requiring municipalities to address such discharges in order to reverse deteriorating source water quality and potential health risks.
The project is one of several being awarded as part of Omaha's combined sewer overflow control program that commences this year. Burns & McDonnell is currently completing a similar sewer separation project in the Brookside District of Kansas City.
Under its contract with the City of Omaha, Burns & McDonnell will design sewer lines to separately convey stormwater and wastewater throughout the 30-square-block Country Club District, bordered roughly by 50th and 56th streets on the east and west and Corby and Seward streets on the south and north. Design of the $6.5 million project will commence immediately. During the design phase, Burns & McDonnell will assist in coordinating a series of public meetings and public involvement for residents to explain proposed project details and to solicit input.
As part of the project, Burns & McDonnell will design a holistic, watershed-based approach for the Country Club District that will incorporate green solutions in combination with conventional sewer improvements. Green solutions include both public and private efforts to reduce stormwater runoff, reduce water pollution and protect natural resources. The goal of these solutions is to increase surface runoff toward natural treatment systems such as bio-retention facilities, stream restoration and stream buffers. These facilities may incorporate recycled materials, pervious pavement, conversion to native grasses and roadway curb bump-outs. Small-scale solutions such as vegetated filter strips, rain gardens, rain barrels and green roofs — even planting a tree — are also possible means to slow and absorb stormwater before entering pipes and streams.
About Burns & McDonnnell
Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout North America and abroad. More than 3,000 engineers, architects, scientists, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and other professionals work in 20 offices located throughout the U.S. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned. In January 2009, Burns & McDonnell was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of America's "100 Best Companies to Work For."