Yavapai County Flood Control District, AZ
Stormwater Engineer, Tony Angueira
Yavapai County is one of the four original Arizona counties formed in September of 1864, one year after the Arizona Territory was established. The County was named after the Yavapai Tribe, whose name means “people of the sun.” With an area of 8,125 square miles, Yavapai County is approximately the same size as Massachusetts, and has everything from tall, evergreen mountains to grasslands and desert areas. The Yavapai County Flood Control District was created in December 1981 and charged with minimizing public and private losses from flooding.
Unique MS4 Boundary, Unique Compliance Requirements
Under the general Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) stormwater discharge permit, regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the Yavapai County Flood Control District operates a Phase II small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Phase II municipalities include urbanized areas with a U.S. Census population between 10,000 and 100,000. The population of unincorporated Yavapai County is about 12,250.
The Yavapai County MS4 boundary is unique in that it is comprised of 16 non-conjoined segments and contains 148 mapped outfalls along roadside drainages, curbs, gutters, ditches, swales, channels, catch basins, culverts, and storm drains. At least 50% of the outfalls must be visually inspected and photographed annually during dry conditions, as well as wet conditions after rain or from snowmelt. Additionally, the permit requires the seasonal collection of water samples from selected outfalls for the monitoring of intestinal E.coli bacterial levels. Rather than logging outfall inspections on printed spreadsheets in the field, then updating the computer database upon return to the office, a more efficient, onsite method of data collection was needed.
Yavapai County’s main goal was to rapidly develop an ongoing capacity for demonstrating and reporting the performance and compliance of their MS4 program to their state regulator. They needed to overcome data silos and manual processes and wanted to centralize and standardize data.
Accelerate, Centralize, Automate
Enter 2NDNATURE Software. 2NDNATURE Software’s cloud platform is a purpose-built stormwater compliance platform for MS4 programs, powered by Esri’s ArcGIS technology. It proved to be an absolute game-changer for the Yavapai County Flood Control District. Rather than sticking to work preplanned off a site list, the cloud-based, tablet, and smartphone accessible topographic map enables the stormwater engineer to modify plans in real-time during changing weather conditions by predicting the outfalls most likely to contain flowing water. Quick data entry on the 2NDNATURE interface, which is customized for ADEQ’s required parameters, plus the built-in photo capability, has made site inspections as simple and efficient as can be. Organized record keeping and instant, easily downloadable reports have made a simple task of all facets of program tracking.
The 2NDNATURE platform contains powerful tools that provided Yavapai County with new capabilities, for example, the Best Management Practices (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID) tools were instrumental in helping us to plan ahead and mitigate potential flood impacts. Average precipitation and accurate soils data are integrated into the 2NDNATURE platform, so it is possible to model runoff and infiltration of potential sBMP and LID projects before, during and after installation. Data is centralized and easily accessed to analyze how assets and program efforts are performing to desired outcomes. Most importantly, demonstrating compliance with the MS4 permit is faster, more accurate and based on 2NDNATURE Software’s unique and industry-leading stormwater science. Industry-leading data confidence provides Yavapai and ADEQ certainty they can count on; certainty that only comes from scientific, journal-published, open science pioneered by 2NDNATURE Software.
Fieldwork Efficiency Increases by 210%
Thanks to the 2NDNATURE platform, the Yavapai County small MS4 is now running a digital performance-based compliance program. It is being managed more effectively and efficiently than ever before. The comparative ease, speed, and versatility of the software, particularly for mobile use in the field, lead to a 210% above average increase in visual site inspections, sample collections, and simplified data gathering for annual reporting to the ADEQ regulator. For the residents of Yavapai County, that means healthier streams and creeks with better surface water quality.
It means improved stormwater flood control due to the prompt maintenance of culverts and discrete conveyances blocked by debris or sediment following a weather event. Through the use of the sBMP and LID tools, it also means greater predictability of the effectiveness of basins or other structures prior to installation. Central to our commitment to our community, The Yavapai County Flood Control District strives for continuous AZPDES permit compliance improvement. Compliance comes easier and with a higher level of confidence.
“Yavapai County AZ is physically large, rural and has unique program and compliance requirements. 2NDNATURE was up and running within a few short weeks. Out of the box, the platform satisfied all of our permit requirements. As our needs have continued to evolve, 2NDNATURE has consistently delivered customized solutions. I couldn’t be happier or more impressed.” – Tony Angueira, Stormwater Engineer