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GIS Model Development for Stormwater Analysis - Town of Delafield, Village of West Milwaukee, Village of Butler, Village of Nashotah, Town of Salem and Kenosha County Department of Public Works, Wisconsin

GIS Model Development for Stormwater AnalysisThe integration of geographic information systems (GIS) and stormwater modeling has emerged as a powerful time-saving tool for managing or analyzing stormwater data.

Whether a municipality wants updated information about their stormwater infrastructure; is assessing their overall pollutant loadings for water quality purposes; or is forming a stormwater utility, GIS has proven to be a cost-effective means of managing and understanding stormwater data.

R.A. Smith National’s Municipal Services and GIS Divisions worked together to prepare a GIS model for use within the stormwater quality modeling software known as WinSLAMM. This GIS model saved our clients significant time and money, while providing the level of detail required for approval by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

Stormwater Analyses
The GIS model was used in conjunction with stormwater analyses that R.A. Smith National completed for several municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin, including Town of Delafield, Village of West Milwaukee, Village of Butler, Village of Nashotah, Town of Salem and Kenosha County Department of Public Works. These communities and many others within the EPA-designated Urbanized Area boundary of southeastern Wisconsin were required by WDNR to complete a stormwater quality assessment of pollutant loading with an ultimate goal of reducing pollutants 20 percent by 2008 and 40 percent by 2013.

R.A. Smith National used ESRI’s ArcGIS ModelBuilder to create a GIS model designed to incorporate several data sets including land use, soils, and watershed sub-basins. The acreage of each of these data sets was summarized and a database table created to account for the various combinations of soil type and land use within a single basin.

The result of this time-saving, user-friendly model is that each community can now easily view the community’s current pollutant loading and a percentage of pollutant loading removal. This is an important tool so that communities can continually assess how well their stormwater is being managed and, more specifically, the amount of pollutants that have been removed.

Stormwater Utilities
R.A. Smith National has also used a similar GIS model for municipal clients interested in creating stormwater utilities. Various data sets can be incorporated in this model based on the type of utility fee structure being formed. The result is a comprehensive database summarizing all pertinent data and an associated utility fee for each property within the municipality.

GIS has proven to be a highly effective means of allowing communities to quickly and accurately analyze and manage their stormwater data.

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