Anne Arundel County, MD Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works

Updates to the Anne Arundel County Step Pool Stormwater Conveyance Guidelines

Straughan assisted Anne Arundel County with updates to their existing SPSC Guidelines that had last been updated in 2012.


Our Approach

Straughan assisted Anne Arundel County with updates to their existing Step Pool Stormwater Conveyance (SPSC) Guidelines (last updated in December 2012). The County published the final guidance in Spring 2022 and has adopted the updates formally into their design code. The SPSC guidelines are a nationally recognized design manual for outfall restoration and treatment.

The goal of this update was to improve consistency in design and construction outcomes for SPSC projects Straughan is the lead author for this update that includes:

  • Incorporation of lessons learned during design, permitting and construction since the previous update.
  • Reorganization of the document around the Anne Arundel County design review process.
  • Resolution of inconsistencies and re-evaluation of minimum and maximum thresholds for design dimensions.
  • Updates to typical sections and design details to represent current best practice with dimensions to scale.
  • Development of a workflow for sizing grade control structures (riffles, cascades, pools).
  • Clarity on acceptable materials used for construction of SPSC projects.
  • Updated guidance on E&S Control design.
  • Enhanced guidance on Planting Plan design and implementation.
  • Updated references to current guidelines for stormwater and TMDL crediting.
  • Development of a new calculator spreadsheet tool and design checklists for new projects.

As part of this effort, Straughan has also developed standardized CAD detail drawings available on the County’s website free to download. Check out the website here.

Straughan worked very closely with Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration (BWPR) staff on this revision including touring project sites, reviewing past design plans, conducting literature reviews, and leading meetings. We developed a project plan, beginning with a proposed manual outline level that Straughan presented to the BWPR team and then developed into a revised manual soliciting feedback at each milestone. Based on Straughan’s extensive construction management experience applied to this manual it not only guides the design process but also successful construction implementation in the field.

Straughan led review meetings in front of a multi-disciplinary committee of reviewers, including an external panel with representatives from six (6) different organizations spanning the professional and academic industries. Straughan completed the SPSC manual in Spring of 2022 and the final release was June of 2022.

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