Memphremagog Watershed Association completes design for stormwater project

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) is pleased to announce the completion of the design for a largescale stormwater remediation project located in Newport City.

The project was completed in partnership with Newport City and Watershed Consulting Associates and with Ecosystems Restoration Program funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VDEC).

This project began back in 2017.

That year, VDEC released the Tactical Basin Plan for the Memphremagog Watershed, which indicated that the concentration of phosphorus in Lake Memphremagog exceeded state standards.

“Knowing that we need to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering our lake from the watershed, MWA applied for a grant from VDEC to design a large scale stormwater retrofit,” said Kendall Lambert, MWA Administrative Director. “This project, when installed, is intended to be a high impact project that will stop a significant amount of phosphorus from entering our lake year after year to help us meet our clean water goals.”

The project site is located on West Main Street in Newport at the city-owned parking area adjacent to the entrance to Built by Newport.

This location is downhill from city neighborhoods and right on the edge of Lake Memphremagog.

During rainstorms, runoff from the storm floods down the hill carrying with it sediment and phosphorus which directly enters the lake.

With the grant funding, MWA hired Watershed Consulting Associates in 2017 to design a stormwater retrofit for this location.

Watershed Consulting Associates was tasked with analyzing the existing development, slope, and conditions, and then designing a stormwater practice that will slow and sink the stormwater, removing the sediment and phosphorus from the runoff before it enters the lake- all while fitting into that small parking area.

The final design was completed in October of 2019.

The project will consist of a series of underground chambers buried under the parking area that will act as filters to remove sediment and phosphorus.

Based on VDEC’s Stormwater Treatment Practice Calculator, it is estimated that this project will remove 8.04 lbs of phosphorus per year once installed.

“One of the really nice things about this project is that once it is installed, the casual observer will not know there is a stormwater practice there- the area will still be a parking turnoff- but underneath there will be a stormwater practice that is improving our water quality,” Lambert said.

Currently, the City of Newport and MWA are working together to identify funding sources to move forward with the implementation of this project.

Pending funding, the project will likely be installed by 2021.

Newport and MWA are also currently working together on a similar design project by Newport Marine Service with the design expected to be completed by early 2020.

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