New Conveyance and Infiltration System Outperforms
the Standard Storm Water Pond
The Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC) will be located at the SW corner of CTH KR and STH 31.
Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) , Department of Natural Resources (DNR) , the Fund for Lake Michigan , Kenosha County and Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC to reduce the storm water pollutants from the upcoming highway KR expansion project using an innovation called the regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) system. The CTH KR expansion will be the first use of RSC on a WisDOT project.
The RSC allows for better storm water infiltration in lieu of a standard pond. (source: Stormwater Solutions Engineering)
RSC is a series of planted infiltration pools overlying a sand and woodchip bed. The design allows for flexibility in pools size, elevation, and location such that the entire RSC can be sculpted into the existing landscape, ultimately minimizing disturbance and associated costs due to excavation. Since RSC is a sand/woodchip-based system, storm water pollutants will be filtered from runoff, resulting in improved water quality and ecological benefits for the downstream Pike River. Even with the added benefits, project costs associated with the RSC are similar to those using the standard pond design . A grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan provided the funding for the beta design of the RSC so it could be analyzed against existing WisDOT requirements.
The RSC can be shaped and sized appropriately to fit within constrained areas. (source: Stormwater Solutions Engineering)
“It’s incredibly satisfying when you can bring public and private powers together to solve environmental challenges,” said Dave Giordano, Executive Director at Root-Pike WIN. “It’s even more satisfying when these partners bring a spirit of cooperation that get things done. The WisDOT and DNR’s commitment to this storm water innovation will reduce more runoff pollution to our precious Pike River… and ultimately to other watersheds across the state,” Giordano added.
Looking South from CTH KR, this is approximate location of the new RSC. (source: Root-Pike WIN)
Per Wisconsin regulations, WisDOT must manage additional storm water flows associated with the added pavement form the CTH KR expansion. A storm water detention pond was initially proposed on the parcel flowing into the Pike River. Stakeholders, including Kenosha County, Root-Pike WIN, DNR, and WisDOT, came together to find an alternative innovative solution that considered the ecology of the Pike River , potential future recreational and development uses for the parcel designated for storm water management, water quality improvements, and overall economics of the project. 
The Pike River is impaired for various types of runoff pollutants like phosphorus, sediment and E.coli. (source: Root-Pike WIN)
Brett Wallace, Foxconn Project Director for WisDOT, commented, “We appreciate the partnerships we have developed on this project, in particular with Root Pike WIN. By working together, we have identified and will be implementing a design that is appropriate for this location to address storm water runoff. This is an example of the good things that take place when everyone works towards a common goal.”

RSC reduces suspended solids, nitrogen, and phosphorus by 50% more than that of a standard storm water pond at a similar cost. The RSC also meets or exceeds the volume and velocity requirements for storm water conveyance. Where the right conditions exist, the RSC’s benefits can be replicated on other transportation projects throughout Wisconsin.

“The RSC is going to significantly improve water quality along one of Lake Michigan’s most impaired tributaries, benefiting all who depend on healthy, drinkable water. It will also reduce flooding,” said Vicki Elkin, Executive Director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “This exciting project shows that when ecology factors into economic development initiatives such as road construction, the returns multiply and continue to grow as time moves on. We look forward to a future in which thoughtful, cost-effective collaborations like this are the standard.”
The RSC will have a smaller footprint than a storm water pond, which helps the landowner maximize the parcel's overall use. (source: Stormwater Solutions Engineering)
Another unique feature of RSC is its ability to be shaped into the existing landscape, which minimizes the project footprint. This RSC will be in the southwest corner of CTH KR and STH 31 in place of the roadside swales and outside of parcel area considered for development. The placement will reduce the overall BMP footprint by a three-quarters of an acre as compared to the storm water pond.

“The quality of our environment has a direct connection to the quality of life in our county,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “I’m pleased that through this public-private partnership, we’re able to improve the quality of the storm water collected in this area, and, ultimately, the quality of the water that flows from the Pike River into Lake Michigan.”

Joe Liebau Jr., Secretary’s Director of Southeastern Wisconsin at the Department of Natural Resources said, “The DNR is always excited to work with our partners to implement new and innovative ways to reduce runoff pollution. We are thankful for Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network and DOT for working in partnership to make this RSC system happen.”

There is limited maintenance with the RSC and it doesn't attract geese like standard storm water ponds as water doesn't linger in the swales for long.   With a single goose producing about a pound of phosphorus a year in waste , the RSC will reduce this additional loading in a pond and potentially overflowing into the Pike River. Finally, with a native vegetative cover unlike a standard pond, the RSC offers preferable habitat for threatened pollinators. We could go on...

Where can you use the RSC?
Dave Giordano
Executive Director
The Root-Pike Basin Watersheds
Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network
Office: 800 Center St Room 118, Racine, WI 53403
Mail: PO BOX 044164, Racine, WI 53404