2005-2006: In collaboration with the Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW), this student team designed drainage modifications to minimize flooding in the lower Elm Street region of Northampton,. During large rain events, Elm Street Brook floods the lower Elm Street area adjacent to the Northampton High School, forcing the DPW to close the street for an extended period of time and leading to unsafe conditions.
After analyzing multiple options, the team designed new drainage pipes and a new detention pond. A detention pond is a stormwater basin designed to capture, temporarily hold, and steadily release a volume of storm water runoff to attenuate and delay flooding. Using hydrologic modeling software, the students predicted their design will reduce water flow at the brook by 46%, which will eliminate the flooding problem.
The team’s final report to the DPW described the students’ analysis, recommended design, and cost estimates. The team also presented their findings in a public meeting with the town of Northampton and incorporated their comments into their design. The DPW plans to implement the team’s final design, pending funding.