Starting on May 1, 2014, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) will put into effect the Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) which could drastically affect your site design and construction plans. This ordinance, which will apply to all of Cook County, with some exceptions, aligns the MWRD with the collar counties' storm water requirements. Below are a few highlights which may play a role in determining the economics of your next project:
- Storm water Detention: Volumes will increase, marginally in some areas and very significantly in others.
- Volume/Water Quality Control: Allowable runoff to decrease. However, filtering to remove contaminants through various means will be considered as well.
- Erosion Control: MWRD will now review and require initial inspections prior to construction.
- Wetlands: Prior to adversely affecting any wetland (on site or adjacent to site), proper delineation and acceptable measures, such as relocation or mitigation must be proposed and approved.
- Floodplains: Increased factors of safety for flood protection have been incorporated.
- Conveyance: Although historically not scrutinized, any development or redevelopment of a site will need to consider conveyance of the 100 year storm to and through the detention pond.
W-T Civil Engineering, LLC has a proven background in finding creative solutions to permitting challenges. On average, we obtain five to ten percent of all MWRD permits per year. Todd Abrams, P.E. and Jason Green, P.E., were selected by the MWRD to be on the WMO advisory committee during which they provided cursory recommendations from a consultant point of view. Since the ordinance was passed in October of 2013, the W-T Civil Engineering teams have attended eight MWRD roundtable meetings. This attentiveness and our experience working with the MWRD have provided a well-rounded interpretation of the new ordinance.