Avondale Estates looks to fix stormwater system

The city of Avondale Estates has begun planning to fix its stormwater problem.
The city of Avondale Estates has begun planning to fix its stormwater problem.

Avondale Estates is moving toward a solution to its aging stormwater system. The first step was to hire Brown and Caldwell to assess the condition of existing stormwater infrastructure and prioritize repairs throughout the City, according to a press release.

The engineers were charged with identifying key issues, proposing solutions for our top five problems, and helping to guide our short-term and long-term investments. A video discussion about the plan, presentation, and low resolution version of the plan are currently available at www.AvondaleEstates.org/StormwaterMP.

There are some big takeaways from this effort. The cause of flooding ranges from insufficient infrastructure to overburdening the system, to disrepair. Fixing the stormwater system will require a multi-pronged approach:

Repairing and Replacing Infrastructure

Repairing or replacing existing infrastructure is the first step. This report provides us with a road map for the next several years.

Adding New Infrastructure

Adding new infrastructure is very difficult, if not impossible in some locations. The costs, impact on the community aesthetics, lack of space, and overall disruption makes new infrastructure a less desirable solution. Also, when you make pipes bigger or carry more water away from one area, you will likely impact your neighboring communities. This is not the solution we are looking for, but new infrastructure may still be the right course of action in some situations.

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is a natural way of managing stormwater using vegetative practices that fits with the DNA of this community. Many Avondale residents have a green thumb and all of us enjoy the community because of its parks, tree-lined verges, and rolling front lawns.

The $130,000 collected annually for the stormwater fees plus reserve funds are anticipated to cover the estimated cost for urgent and emergency repairs. Beyond that, the city will need to identify other sources of funds or increase fees, said City Manager Patrick Bryant.

5 Simple Steps

We will need to work together to manage our stormwater. There are some things that you can do now that will help your property, as well as your neighbors.

  1. Clean up litter, leaves, and yard waste from around drains.
  2. Use less fertilizer or use biodegradable fertilizers that do not contain harmful chemicals.
  3. Allow plants and trees to grow in their natural and original habitats.
  4. Do not dispose of toxic products such as paint, motor oil, or cleaners by pouring them into drains.
  5. Capture stormwater through rain barrels and other methods.

Community “Green” Leaders

In the coming months, Avondale Estates will also create a new committee charged with serving as ambassadors for green infrastructure solutions and leading through example.

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