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A Clear Water Quality Vision

Panther Island, a development that will transform an industrial area north of downtown Fort Worth, will promote pedestrian-focused activity and interaction with the river, meaning that water quality for the project is critical. In developing the storm drain master plan, Freese and Nichols and Dallas-based VERDUNITY evaluated several green-infrastructure concepts; developed a sliding scale of LID (low-impact development) implementation under four scenarios; and, in the first use of the Envision™ economic model nationwide, prepared business case evaluations for each one.

The team quantified the dollar value of tangible and intangible benefits — such as better air and water quality and higher sales and property taxes — compared to the costs of implementation and maintenance.

LID elements, such as green streets, rain gardens and green roofs, remove pollutants from runoff in ways that mimic natural processes. Traditional approaches, by comparison, can miss the beneficial interaction of stormwater with the surrounding environment as drainage infrastructure removes storm runoff as quickly as possible.

“A framework for water quality is necessary to protecting the investment of the canals and lake features,” said Project Manager Scott Hubley, P.E., CFM. “The LID study defines a clear water quality vision for Panther Island and lays the foundation for future efforts.”

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