Stormwater Conference -A WRI Partnership for Peak Flow Estimation: Culverts and Catch Basin Assessme

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Stormwater infrastructure is under siege. System upgrades, replacements and repairs
require prioritization of limited capital dollars to ensure the greatest impact for the least cost. The
Water Resources Institute at Cornell University (WRI) has been developing a set of GIS based tools to
help. A partnership with GroundPoint Engineering has enhanced those tools to leverage current, high
resolution LIDAR and Land Cover data.
Key to the success of these analytical tools is the availability of public domain (aka “free”) high
resolution data, and the ability to derive and maintain GIS data layers that support long term program
goals. This presentation will demonstrate how an adaptation of WRI’s GIS based approach can be
applied to both culverts and catch basins to more accurately determine the runoff characteristics and
peak flow estimates used in infrastructure design and volume capacity calculations. The use of
standards-based data structures for information such as culvert location and physical characteristics
simplifies the application of these tools in comparing predicted results against current capacity. In
addition, the resulting drainage calculations aid in the determination of where underground pipes or
road culverts may be overloaded based on 5, 10, or 20-year magnitude storm predictions
Beacon, NY
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Water / Stormwater Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1)Students will learn how LiDAR data can be used to support drainage catchment area determinations for storm water points of interest such as culverts and catch basins.
2) How such data may be used to
generate peak flow characteristics such as area, slope, curve number, time of concentration.
3) Learn how peakflows can be associated with predicted precipitation recurrence intervals.
Benjamin H. Houston, PE – Groundpoint Engineering
Website Registration
Course Codes
New York Chapter of ASLA

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