Houston-area community expands major stormwater detention project (Source: ASCE Civil Engineering Source)

Nov 30, 2020

By Jay Landers

Clear Lake City Water Authority’s recent completion of the second phase of a major flood control project in the Houston area has resulted in additional flood protection for Clear Lake City, a master-planned community located in southeast Harris County, Texas. Comprising five phases, Exploration Green — as the project is known — entails the conversion of a former golf course into a 178-acre stormwater management project that also provides natural habitat, walking trails, and other amenities. Upon completion in late 2021, Exploration Green will consist of five linked detention ponds that will protect between 2,000 and 3,000 homes from flooding associated with a 100-year flood event.

“Communities throughout Texas are looking for ways to mitigate major flooding events like (Hurricane) Harvey, (Tropical Storm) Imelda, and (Tropical Storm) Beta,” said Wayne Swafford, P.E., the president of Lockwood, Andrews, & Newnam Inc., in a Sept. 30 news release. (LAN is designing and serving as construction administrator for the project).

“Exploration Green is transforming Clear Lake from a flood-prone community into one of the most flood-resilient communities in Texas,” Swafford said. “In addition, it is creating a healthy, sustainable neighborhood for its residents.”

Completed in September, phase 2 of Exploration Green includes a 26.2-acre detention pond, 18 acres of natural habitat, and 1.3 mi of recreational trails. The new detention pond provides 142 acre-ft of storage, says Kelly Shipley, P.E., M.ASCE, the project manager for LAN. At its 100-year storm elevation, the pond will have a depth of 15 ft. During dry periods, the pond normally will have a depth of 6 ft.