“Being involved from the beginning, Kissick took the time to understand how green infrastructure works and how it can supplement traditional gray infrastructure,” says Coby Crowl, director of business development for Kissick. “We took a systematic approach to investigating how the ecosystem works, how water flows, and understanding its natural intent so we could learn about installing green systems properly to help clean up the water naturally.”
Instead of pushing water away from a site through a system of underground pipes, green infrastructure is engineered to use landscaping to force the water to stay on site where it can nurture beneficial plant life and percolate into the ground naturally. Green infrastructure reduces combined sewer overflows by adding to the capacity of existing systems during extreme rainfall events.
Although green infrastructure is a fairly new way of constructing solutions to flooding and sewer overflow issues, the projects are business as usual for Kissick, says Spencer Moore, Kissick’s manager of KCMO’s Central Industrial District (CID) Green Infrastructure Project in the City’s West Bottoms.
Moore says Kissick’s expertise in gray infrastructure solutions has translated into successful green projects as well. “Understanding the design intent of the project took digesting and comprehending the overall process, but nothing in this project is anything we haven’t done before on another project,” he says.
Kissick is implementing a combination of green and gray solutions to address issues in the West Bottoms, beginning with construction of a new sanitary sewer pipe that allows separation from stormwater runoff. An overland, or above-ground, system will help control the amount of stormwater that enters the underground pipes by mimicking the natural groundwater system. A gravel infiltration basin and cistern was installed below the I-70 “Lewis & Clark Viaduct, one of two Kissick project sites in the West Bottoms.