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  • SORA design

Stormwater management challenge

Updated: Jun 13, 2021



When we saw the soils report, we did not think much of it. A little bit of silty soil should be easily managed by mixing in adequate fill material. We were a bit naive. Combined with the sloping condition, large building footprint, and essentially no absorption into the ground, the requirements set by the county for Stormwater management were prohibitive.


The two options were either to reforest 65% of the entire site, or to create a 280x280 retention pond. First of all, we cannot go past the building envelope per the owner-neighbor agreement. In addition, the site is currently bare, and it would be cost prohibitive to vegetate 3.25 acres of land. It would also obstruct the view, which is critical. The 280x280 retention pond (1.78 acres) simply would not have fit, and would not have worked with the topography. Both options were shockingly impossible.


Thankfully, the project’s civil engineer worked very closely with the county and with us to be able to find a reasonable solution. He designed the drainage so that the runoff would be channeled through underground pipes, terminating at splash blocks a ways into the back yard, so that the water would run on the surface into the much smaller retention pond towards the end of the site. The new footprint is 190x25, following the site’s natural contour lines. Amazing work, Sterling Design!



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