Seminole Glen SWM Plan Update and Public Outreach Support
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Project Background Information:
Seminole Glen Park is located near the intersection of Schumann Drive and S. Seminole Highway in the City of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. The park includes several natural features including two kettle ponds on the western edge of the park, and a forested kettle on the eastern edge of the park. The kettle ponds are transected by a bike path and connected by an equalizer pipe. During heavier rainfall events, water overflows from the ponds to the east into the forested kettle. Generally, stormwater runoff that drains into the forested kettle infiltrates into the soil, evaporates, or is transpired. During extreme rainfall, water may get high enough that it is able to enter the storm sewer on Schuman Drive, if a valve is in the open position. Generally, this valve is kept in the off position; however, it was opened in the 2016-2018 timeframe, when water in the kettle got high enough to threaten a nearby home.
The City of Fitchburg is requesting proposals from qualified consultants to assist with public education and outreach efforts, perform a hydraulic/hydrologic analysis, water quality modeling, provide structural BMP recommendations for areas within the park (either within the kettle ponds or elsewhere within the park) and outside of the park, prepare non-structural BMP recommendations within and outside of the park, and conduct public outreach meetings.
The City has contracted with AE2S to complete the Seminole Glen Stormwater Study. Common Council approved the contract on August 23, 2022. The study is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2023.
Through the fall of 2022 the city and engineering consultant collected data on the watershed draining into Seminole Glen Park and storm sewer network draining from Stoner Prairie and eastward down Schumann Dr. AE2S has completed the "existing conditions" stormwater model to represent rainfall, stormwater runoff, and stormwater conveyance by the storm sewer network. This will allow the project team to evaluate different rainfall scenarios and potential projects/practices to manage stormwater runoff in this portion of the city.
After the completion of the January 2023 public information meeting the project team evaluated multiple alternatives based on public comments provided. The team elected to pursue two primary solutions to address flooding and ecological concerns in the park. These alternatives include:
- Installation of a storm sewer connection above the existing modeled 10-yr flooding stage of the lower kettle to provide an overflow route for flooding out of the kettle at an elevation below the homes that are adjacent to the lower kettle. This will limit the maximum flooding depth in the kettle as well which would allow the area to dry out faster in future extreme flood events.
- Implementation of green infrastructure to promote infiltration in the "upper" park area, potentially including bioswales, dredging of the wetland areas, a control structure in the channel that connects the upper kettles to the lower kettles to hold more water in the upper park areas and reduce erosion in the channel.
The planned modeling alternatives required modifications to the contract with AE2S, which required approval by the City Council. The proposed changes also included reducing the number of public information meetings from three down to two. The primary reason for this change was to reduce the project timeline to the extent possible and allow for some additional budget to be allocated toward modeling of the proposed improvement scenarios. Additional budget has been held as contingency in the event that staff determines it worthwhile to add an additional meeting back into the project schedule. A public information meeting was held in June 2023, prior to finalizing the alternative solutions modeling and final recommendations. An additional public meeting will likely be held prior to any construction project proceeding into final design, which would be a separate contract with a design consultant.
In June 2023, the second Public Information meeting was held. This meeting described the existing conditions model results, discussed multiple alternative solutions, and provided recommendations and next steps to mitigate flooding to the kettles. There were three main solutions that were discussed: 1) to do nothing, 2) lowering and improving the Schumann Drive storm sewer, and 3) installing a berm in addition to the storm sewer improvements. In all of these solutions, the valve that connects the North Stoner Prairie stormwater to the wetland would remain closed. Improvements to the current ditches and gullies was discussed as possible solutions to ensure proper water quality.
Schumann Drive Storm Sewer:
The stormwater models of Seminole Glen Park also included the storm sewer that flows east under Schuman Dr. to the Schuman Greenway. This storm sewer was originally constructed from 1980-1982. It is known that the storm sewer is likely undersized, and it has been scheduled for redesign by city staff in 2023. The changes to the Seminole Glen Park drainage could impact the final design of this system and the detailed hydrologic model of the watershed will greatly assist in the design. The storm sewer project will follow from the recommendations of the Seminole Glen Stormwater Study.
Project documents including video recordings of past public meetings, presentation slides, etc., are available below:
Questions on the stormwater study can be directed to:
Ben Schulte, P.E., Environmental Engineer at 608-345-9628 or Ben.Schulte@fitchburgwi.gov