Communities Come Together to Solve Runoff Problem

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Credit: Original article published here.

Project Owners: Cities of Signal Hill and Long Beach, Calif.
Architect/Engineer: Tetra Tech Inc. and GHD Inc.
Contractor: Mike Bubalo Construction Company
Precast Concrete Manufacturer: Jensen Precast

As the A-Team pulled off another escape, Hannibal Smith would often proclaim, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Come together it did for seven communities in Southern California.

Faced with resolving a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate to lower total suspended solids and heavy metals below the total maximum daily load limits, the communities in the Los Cerritos Channel Freshwater Watershed came together and found a precast concrete solution.

Instead of each community installing its own treatment system, they pooled their resources together to install a single system to collectively remove the pollutants and curb costs. Thanks to its speed of installation, precast concrete was chosen for the system over other options such as cast-in-place. Jensen Precast provided the pieces for the project.

Installation of this large precast pretreatment system was straightforward. However, the control of groundwater presented Mike Bubalo Construction Company with a challenge.

“Mike Bubalo Construction got control of the water, then rapidly stacked out the 16-foot-diameter precast structures to get above the water table,” said Walter Stein, Jensen’s Stormwater Systems Division manager. “That’s the beauty of precast concrete. We can get into the bottom of the hole and stack out very, very rapidly, unlike a cast-in-place structure.”

The Los Cerritos Channel Sub-Basin 4 Stormwater Capture Facility eliminates most polluted dry weather runoff while diverting, treating and infiltrating first flush stormwater flows impacting the watershed.

“It represents the start of the remaking of water infrastructure in California,” said Sam Unger, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board executive director.

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