Sept. 24 2021 02:00 PM

Potential projects represent an estimated combined cost of $126 million treating about 2,400 acres.

The City of San Jose has engaged a team of engineers, modelers and scientists to provide professional consultancy services on projects to implement its 2019 Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan.

Envisioning a watershed with thriving creeks, rivers and a healthy San Francisco Bay, the City developed the GSI Plan, a roadmap outlining the transformation of its urban landscape and drainage systems to achieve water quality goals and deliver environmental and community benefits. The plan focuses on implementing GSI and sustainable drainage practices, transitioning from traditional “gray” infrastructure where stormwater runoff enters storm drains and receiving waters from impervious rooftops, sidewalks, driveways and streets, to an integrated approach incorporating resilient “green” infrastructure systems.

Potential projects described in the plan, treating about 2,400 acres of land, represent an estimated combined cost of $126 million, including design, construction, and operations and maintenance.

The plan demonstrates San Jose’s long-term commitment to meeting regulatory requirements by implementing GSI to reduce polluted stormwater entering waterways via its storm sewer system.

The multidisciplinary approach of GSI uses soil, plants and pervious surfaces to capture, treat, infiltrate, and reuse stormwater runoff. GSI provides multiple benefits, including improved water quality, reduced localized flooding, potable water conservation, increased groundwater recharge, reduced urban heat island effect, and public space beautification. GSI can integrate with building and roadway design, complete streets, drainage infrastructure, urban forestry, soil conservation and landscaping.

Under a Master Serves Agreement, a local team of Brown and Caldwell, Lotus Water, and Paradigm Environmental will provide a diverse range of services to implement the GSI Plan. Tasks include program management, regulatory support, cost and budget analysis, stakeholder outreach, and multidisciplinary engineering and construction administration on numerous projects.

“Our team looks forward to bringing our experience of multi-benefit green infrastructure projects to help the City achieve their vision in the most sustainable, cost-effective way possible,” says Marc Nakamoto, Brown and Caldwell contract manager.

The first service order under the MSA was executed in late August. Next steps of the GSI Plan implementation include evaluating the feasibility of near-term regional stormwater capture and green streets projects and laying the foundation for successful project implementation over the next five years.