Storm Preparedness: Case Study

When Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, historic levels of rainfall significantly impacted the operations of water and wastewater utilities across the region. Four feet of floodwaters caused the Lake Forest Utility District’s main water treatment plant to go offline for several days.

The District contacted Baxter & Woodman to evaluate the facility for damage and necessary modifications. After temporary emergency repairs to the plant were made, Baxter & Woodman recommended additional resiliency upgrades to reduce the risk of essential equipment failure in future flood events while providing cost savings to the District. Improvements were designed to elevate critical infrastructure and electrical equipment above Harvey’s flood level, including raising the roof and wall height of the control building by approximately five feet, installing an interior mezzanine deck to house the new, raised motor controls center, and constructing a raised concrete pad for outdoor placement of the new generator along with a metal pedestrian platform around the perimeter to provide access for maintenance.

Baxter & Woodman helped the District coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure $294,000 in reimbursements for the $926,100 repair and mitigation project.

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