Water Resources Engineering

Hydromethods engineers have extensive experience in all aspects of water resources engineering and civil site design.  Whether you are a city or agency looking for effective stormwater infrastructure or retrofit design, an industrial facility in need of permitting assistance or runoff treatment, or a developer looking for site design services and assistance navigating the approval process, our engineers are capable and prepared to help you achieve your goals.

Services Provided:

Water Resources Engineering:

The professionals on our team have designed numerous stormwater control and treatment facilities, and have performed hydrologic, hydraulic and pollutant loading analyses in support of a wide variety of water quality enhancement and flood reduction initiatives.  From small-scale feasibility reports for industrial facility BMP retrofits, to full construction bidding documents for city and agency projects, our staff is capable of filling a range of engineering needs. 
       Typical Water Resources Project Types:
  • Drainage Improvements & Flood Prevention
  • Stormwater Conveyance Design & Modeling
  • Floodplain & Hydraulic/Hydrologic Modeling (XP-SWMM, HydroCAD, HEC-RAS, Etc.)
  • Nutrient/Pollutant Load Modeling (P8, WinSLAMM, SWAT, BATHTUB, BASINS, HSPF, Etc.)
  • Shoreland Restoration & Rehabilitation
  • Rain Gardens, Bioretention Areas and Media Filters 
  • Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) Design & Pollutant Removal Estimation
  • Porous Pavements
  • Underground Storage/Retention
  • Stormwater Harvesting & Reuse
  • Hydrodynamic Separators, Settling Chambers, or Filtration Units
  • Pump Stations & Bypass Pumping
  • Hydraulic Control Structures
  • Fish Barriers
  • Soil Characterization & Infiltration Verification
  • Erosion & Sediment Control
  • Wetland Services
While there are a range of water resources project types, they share a number of similar characteristics.  In all cases, the key to success is clarity.  Whether the project involves a small drainage improvement or BMP retrofit, or a large hydraulic study or site development, success depends on clearly identifying the project goals, as well as any regulatory or permitting issues.


Hydraulic Impact Investigation:

There are many different situations in which it is necessary to accurately characterize either the nature or the impact of surface water flows.  For example, when nuisance flooding, increased erosion, or other water-related damages occur on a property, there is significant interest in determining whether these hydraulic impacts can be attributed to a particular action or change in the system. Even before problems occur, landowners may perceive an increased risk of flooding or other damages due to nearby construction, earthwork, or water control projects.  In other cases, local governments or other organizations need to understand the actual environmental effects of a given hydrologic or hydraulic system, directly addressing potential cause-and-effect relationships.

Hydromethods engineers are exceptionally qualified to investigate surface water impacts, with regard to both identifying what is occurring hydraulically in the physical setting, as well as reviewing any related analysis, modeling, and design work.  We are also highly skilled at communicating our findings, and our engineering reports are not only technically sound, but also concise, understandable, and in conformance with common sense.  Extensive experience with stormwater modeling software, as well as an in-depth understanding of the underlying science, enable our engineers to know what questions to ask and where to find the answers.  Our Professional Engineer (PE) and Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM) credentials support our authoritative expertise in this category of investigation, including:
  • Property Water Level Impacts/Flooding
  • Shoreland Stabilization & Bioengineering Shear Stress Analysis
  • Bypass Pumping Capacity & Erosion Potential
  • River Crossing Impacts
  • Scour Analysis
  • Soil Characterization/Conductivity
  • BMP Treatment Options & Manufacturer-Claimed Effectiveness Review
  • Downstream Conveyance Verification
  • Wetland / Lake / Pond HWL Determination

Environmental Permitting:

Property owners, whether public or private in nature, are responsible for fulfilling a number of regulatory requirements addressing water quality protection, flood damage prevention, and other water resources concerns.  Failure to fulfill these requirements may result in project delays, fines, or other liabilities, in addition to the risk of damage to property or the environment.  The water resources engineers of Hydromethods steer our clients through the regulatory framework, and complete the engineering analysis, technical documentation, and government submittals required for full compliance. 


  • Industrial Stormwater Permits
  • Construction Stormwater Permits
  • MS4 Permits
  • Watershed District/WMO Permits
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs)
  • Spill Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans
  • FEMA Submittals (LOMR, LOMA, CLOMR, Etc.)
  • Phase I Environmental Permitting (ESA)
  • EAW/EIS Submittals
  • Wetland Permitting (WCA, USCOE, DNR, Etc.)
  • Shoreline/Shoreland Alterations
  • Grading & Utility Permits
  • Stormwater Fee Credit Analysis
  • LEED Certification
  • Air Quality Permitting
Stormwater regulations and permitting requirements are in place for an important reason: to protect property, the natural environment, and the public in general against damage or safety concerns from flooding and pollution.  However, from an economic standpoint, it is equally important to ensure that owners are able to comply with regulations without facing an excessive financial burden.  With the tools of clear communication and solid technical understanding, we identify specifically what clients need to do in order to comply with both the letter and the spirit of stormwater regulations, and we use the benefit of our experience and expertise to accomplish those tasks in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

Land Development:

The name of our firm reflects the fact that all components of civil site design are strongly connected to water, including the conveyance and treatment of potable water, wastewater, groundwater, and rainfall runoff.  In addition, a growing emphasis on sustainable design has highlighted the value of water treatment and flow mitigation practices, and a company that understands when it is (or is not) beneficial to incorporate these techniques into a development project is often the key to success (see our Water Resources Engineering page for more information).

Hydromethods' engineers have extensive experience preparing construction plans and specifications for the site design component of new and redevelopment projects, as well as reviewing and evaluating designs prepared by other firms.  Our site design services include grading and pavement design, stormwater management, sanitary sewer and watermain design, wetland mitigation, permit acquisition and much more.  Our expertise in all components of civil site design and our ability to navigate the regulatory environment, combined with our efficiency, attention to detail, and low overhead, naturally result in well-designed projects built within budget.
       Development Services:
  • Preliminary Site Investigation / Infiltration Testing
  • Concept Layouts
  • Construction Plans and Specifications
  • Site Grading, Parking Lots, Streets & Utility Design
  • Sanitary Sewer, Watermain, and Stormwater Management
  • Cost Estimates & Construction Project Management
  • Wetlands and Environmental Permitting
  • LEED, B3-MSBG, & Sustainable Design
  • Phase I ESA, EAW, EIS 
  • Wetland Conservation Act Determination Applications
  • LID / MIDS Accommodation/Planning

BMP Inspection & Maintenance:

Stormwater BMPs (Best Management Practices) such as retention ponds, rain gardens, and filtration trenches are designed and built to provide flood control and water quality benefits.  Over time, excessive sediment, contaminants, and debris can accumulate in these BMPs, and their components can become clogged or damaged.  When these things happen, the BMPs no longer work properly and can become aesthetic or public health nuisances.  Hydromethods inspects stormwater BMPs in order to assess maintenance needs and identify the maintenance services required to ensure continued functionality.

Over the past decade there has been a substantial increase in the number, variety, and complexity of BMPs.  This trend is likely to continue as lower-impact development and stricter, more comprehensive stormwater management become the norm.  There is a growing recognition by owners and agencies that proper maintenance of those BMPs is critical to their effectiveness and lifespan.  BMP owners often do not have the expertise or infrastructure necessary to properly carry out inspection and maintenance activities, and local governments often do not have the resources to add to their current inspection and maintenance operations.

Inspection & Maintenance Services:
  • Stormwater Pond/ BMP Inventory
  • Maintenance Planning & Prioritization
  • Double Ring Infiltrometer Testing
  • Pond/BMP Inspection Program
  • Sediment Sampling & Characterization
  • Sediment Removal and Disposal Design & Permitting
  • Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) & Rain Garden Maintenance
  • Convenient Web-Based Mapping and Tracking of Maintenance Activities
  • Verification of Regulatory Compliance

Surveying & GIS Mapping:

Hydromethods offers surveying and mapping services for a range of applications and projects, including:
  •  Topographic Surveys
  •  Boundary/ALTA Surveys
  •  Construction Staking
  •  As-Built Verifications
  •  Pond Bathymetry
  •  GPS data collection
  •  GIS/AutoCAD Mapping & Surface Modeling
  •  Web Mapping
  •  Infrastructure Management Database & Mapping
As GPS and GIS mapping technologies improve and expand throughout a wide range of industries, it is critical to stay current with the latest technological trends and capabilities.  Whether performing hydraulic simulations or using GIS technologies for map-making, this includes being proficient not only with the typical industry software (e.g., ESRI's ARC-GIS), but also with new, free software capable of performing the same functions (e.g., Quantum GIS).  Hydromethods provides GIS/mapping services and deliverables, as well as training in industry software.




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