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​P-61. Unique storm water management at a brewery using a rain garden/biorentention

Presenter: Jeffrey Van Voorhis, Symbiont Science, Engineering, and Construction.

MillerCoors in Milwaukee, WI, partnered with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District and Symbiont Science, Engineering and Construction to demonstrate the effectiveness of a rain garden/bioretention swale for storm-water treatment at the parking lot across the street from the brewery’s visitor center. The system is designed to capture, slow, and treat overland runoff from an industrial parking lot and storage yard on MillerCoors’ property. Rainwater contaminated with dirt, oil, and other pollutants that accumulate on pavement enters the rain garden during storm events. The water pools above a specially engineered sand-soil composite mixture. The engineered soil is designed to promote rapid infiltration to filter out pollutants and store rainwater. Most of the rainwater that soaks in recharges the groundwater table, is used by vegetation, or evaporates. Any remaining treated water is slowly discharged to the city of Milwaukee sewer system. Vegetation consists exclusively of native grasses and perennial flowers planted in bands to simulate natural prairies. Although designed to capture rainwater, the plantings need to withstand extended periods of drought. This project demonstrates the combined aesthetics and performance potential of storm-water systems at industrial facilities. This project was awarded the Engineering Achievement Award by the Wisconsin Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Jeffrey C. Van Voorhis has a B.S. degree in civil engineering, with an environmental emphasis, from Purdue University. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in water and wastewater treatment for the food and beverage chemical industries. He is currently a manager at Symbiont Science, Engineering, and Construction located in Milwaukee, WI. He has served as the project manager for a variety of projects, and he is familiar with all phases of water and wastewater treatment projects, beginning with characterization and permitting through design, construction, and startup. Symbiont has successfully completed projects for the beverage industry across the nation. Jeffrey incorporates sustainability into his projects. His MBA from Marquette University incorporates a valuable economic perspective to his projects to best serve his clients. He has been an active member of MBAA for several years.