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Virginia Beach Spends $16M on Master Planning Study for Stormwater Management

(Credit: City of Virginia Beach)

A $12 million master planning study which looks at the built and natural features of urban watersheds, overlaid with data from hazard analysis for an additional $4 million, will help Virginia Beach, Va., prioritize improvements to its stormwater infrastructure, the city says. Virginia Beach is just one of numerous cities across the US dealing with stormwater issues, caused in part by climate change, intense weather events, and speedy development that has outpaced their abilities to improve infrastructure.

The study will let town planners model necessary projects and their costs. “We can also project what will happen if we do nothing,” says deputy city manager Tom Leahy (via Engineering News-Record).

In addition to the study and the projects that will result from it, the city focuses on a handful of stormwater management goals. These include promoting effective stormwater drainage from developed areas, maintaining the city’s long-term investment in infrastructure, and improving the quality of stormwater discharged into US waters.

“As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated,” explains the city’s stormwater management program website. “The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices (BMPs?).”


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