Black & Veatch Corporation

Lake Lenexa Stormwater Management Project


Courtesy of Black & Veatch Corporation

Using cutting-edge technologies to significantly upgrade wastewater treatment in coastal areas, B&V Water helped Southern Water keep pace with the requirements of new UK and EU legislation.

B&V Water took an innovative approach to turn stormwater management into a recreational park in Lenexa, Kansas, and offer communities globally a successful integrated stormwater strategy.

As communities across the United States begin to view stormwater as a water resource asset instead of a liability, Black & Veatch and the city of Lenexa, Kansas, are demonstrating how to turn rain into recreation through the Lake Lenexa stormwater management project. At the same time, Black & Veatch is helping the city of Lenexa address water quality issues related to stormwater management under new requirements imposed by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II of the Clean Water Act.

Lake Lenexa, the city's premier 'rain to recreation' project, encompasses 35 acres within 240 acres of parkland that includes preserved woodlands and streamways. Lake Lenexa is designed to improve water quality through the capture of storm water in upstream wetlands to remove sediment, as well as provide flood control, recreation and preserve critical habitat.

The original Lake Lenexa dam layout incorporated relatively high, cast-in-place concrete retaining walls to form the spillway structure. Because the lake is located in an urban setting with high visibility, the Black & Veatch project team performed a Value Engineering (VE) study to determine cost-effective means for implementing architectural features within the spillway, which resulted in innovative uses of construction materials not typically used in dam and reservoir construction. Black & Veatch determined that mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls that are normally used for transportation projects were a cost-effective alternative to the originally planned cast-in-place wall systems for the main spillway and stilling basins.

The Black & Veatch study also found value by mixing cement-kiln dust (CKD) with on-site clay soils to produce a stabilized material. The CKD stabilized material properties include low compressibility, high strength and low permeability, which reduced seepage and uplift pressures under the spillway slabs. The cost savings provided by the VE alternatives reduced total costs and enabled architectural elements, such as curved dam alignment, unique spillway features and a spillway bridge with viewing structure, to be incorporated in the design. Black & Veatch professionals within the water resources and dam design practice groups provided preliminary and final design, permitting support, cost estimating, bid document and construction phase services for the project.

Utilities and communities around the world are looking for an integrated stormwater strategy such as that employed for the Lake Lenexa project. Black & Veatch carried on its mission of Building a World of Difference by finding solutions that successfully incorporate aesthetic considerations and public outreach as well as water quality and flood control measures, as exemplified by a recently completed Black & Veatch-led, three-year research study of (U.S.) Best Management Practices and (UK) Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.

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