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Design Day team to help alleviate flooding on local trail

Danielle Underferth

Every spring, the Whiting School of Engineering hosts Design Day, an annual showcase of students’ creativity, optimism, innovation, and ability to translate their theoretical knowledge into solutions to real-world problems.

One group of EHE seniors has engineered a solution to flooding along a popular Baltimore nature trail.

A section of the Stony Run trail, which follows Stony Run Creek just east of the Homewood Campus, becomes waterlogged after heavy rains, resulting in erosion and widening of the path by people seeking a way around the muddiest areas.

The team set out to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution to both the flooding and the erosion. 

A young female holds a pointed pole with a wooded background

Amanda Hinton holds one of the wells used to measure the height of the water table next to the Stony Run Trail.

They used wells to measure the depth of the water table and a double ring infiltrometer to test the permeability of the soil. Their conclusion: The water table is too high and the soil is not permeable enough to allow water to drain off the trail after it rains. The problem is compounded by stormwater runoff from the neighborhood that sits next to and above the path.

The students’ solution: a detention basin between the neighborhood and the path, with an underdrain that will divert water into the creek. They will make their plan available to their sponsoring organizations, the Roland Park Community Foundation, Friends and Stony Run, and Firesoul.

Team members said they gained valuable experience in design, problem-solving, and working with the community over the course of the project.

"We were able to experience the design process, going through the steps, and finally ending up where we wanted to be and have a finished project,” said Chloe Frantz.

In addition to Frantz, the team is comprised of Zachary Ellis, Marissela Gomez, Amanda Hinton, and Alexander Holt. They worked under the guidance of adviser Ciaran Harman.