Design Storm Selection for Stormwater Management Master Plans

by W. Martin Williams, Camp Dresser & McKee, Annandale, VA, USA,
Kelly A. Cave, Camp Dresser & McKee, Annandale, VA, USA,
Lanchi T. Hoang, Camp Dresser & McKee, Annandale, VA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The design rainfall event is an important performance standard for a stormwater management master plan. A stormwater master plan for Virginia Beach, Virginia, is used as a case study to illustrate procedures for selecting a design storm event. Statistical analyses of rain gage databases for the 250-square mile study area were used to evaluate seasonal, spatial, and long-term trends within the area. Representative watersheds with different land use patterns were studied with the SWMM model to assess the sensitivity of peak flows to different design storm distributions and durations. The final design storms selected for the stormwater management plan were based on a comprehensive examination of factors influencing peak runoff, thereby overcoming many of the limitations and uncertainties associated with traditional drainage design approaches.

Subject Headings: Stormwater management | Storms | Runoff | Management methods | Hydraulic design | Drainage | Case studies | Virginia | United States

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