Flooding has been an ever-increasing topic on the nightly news over the last few years. The increasing frequency of intense storms along with the continued development and expansion of neighborhoods challenge the capasity of existing infrastructure. Roofs and pavement replace fields and forests, which increases stormwater runoff flowing to pipes and streams.
Geosynthetics are useful and versatile materials that have found a range of applications in transportation projects (Berg and Suits, 2000). Geosynthetic materials can decrease project costs and project time; increase design life, stability, and range of acceptable borrow material; and improve performance—important given the large backlog of infrastructure projects and limited funding.
GeoStorage® Systems combine geosynthetic reinforced stone walls with a concrete roof to create a large open chamber. Th e chamber walls and roof are designed using FHWA standards for Geosynthetic Reinforced Structures (GRS) and Integrated Bridge Systems (IBS). As a result, the high chamber walls and large overburdens required for the site could be designed confidently with well established safety factors and a 75+ year design life.
Stormwater management is a vital component on roadway construction and site development projects. Stormwater detention ponds are often utilized to protect neighborhoods against flooding and streams from environmental degradation. Detention systems are located underground where land is expensive or where there are other concerns such as safety or mosquitoes. Pipes, pipe arches and concrete vaults are typically installed in underground systems.
Geosynthetics have always provided cost effective alternatives to traditional construction materials but now can be shown to provide sustainable alternatives as well. One of faster growing areas within construction is stormwater management. The USEPA mandates storage and infiltration on all new construction projects and leaves the design of these systems to the local engineer.
Stormwater management is an ever-increasing expense on site development projects. Stormwater detention ponds are designed to protect against downstream flooding and environmental degradation. The standard of practice is to ensure that post-development flow from a site does not exceed the pre-development rate for a given storm event. Where land is expensive, detention systems are located under- ground. Traditional underground detention systems are comprised of pipes, pipe arches, and concrete vaults.
The geosynthetic based detention system is comprised of a large storage chamber formed by installing reinforced stone walls within a geosynthetic liner system. Essentially, a 30 mil thick prefabricated PVC geomembrane is installed within the excavation and stone walls constructed around the perimeter of the lined excavation over the geomembrane. The stone walls are stabilized with geosynthetic reinforcement at tightly spaced lifts and support a precast concrete roof spanning the interior storage chamber.