Owner: City of Clermont
Contractor: Oelrich Construction Inc.
Lead Design Firm: GAI Consultants Inc.
Structural Engineer:  TLC Engineering Solutions
Electrical Engineer: Clear Engineering LLC

Transforming a swampy, unused 10-acre site in downtown Clermont, Fla., into a stormwater management facility that doubles as a city park required innovative engineering. The resulting facility, Victory Pointe Park, includes what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind stormwater system designed around a cascading marsh, while its public amenities—including a waterfront zone with a beach for swimming—have boosted the city’s economic development efforts.

GAI Consultants designed the stormwater pond and filtration facility as a multistage, terraced treatment system. Runoff flows through vegetated filtration marshes, swales with foliage, porous materials, retaining walls and a stream before flowing into Lake Minneola, a designated impaired water body.

“We wanted to be able to slow that water down, give it a chance to settle out some of the pollutants and filter out through this cascading series of basins,” says Donald Wishart, director of landscape architecture with GAI.

Using this approach to handle oil from cars and other pollutants typically found on a city street and clean it sufficiently to feed directly into Lake Minneola is “cutting edge in terms how to manage that stormwater runoff with a pond setting,” Wishart says, adding that he is unaware of another system like it in Florida.

“This project spearheaded our downtown-waterfront master plan and was a game changer for our downtown,” adds Darren Gray, Clermont city manager.

Calling the park a “great benefit to the community,” one ENR Best of the Best judge lauded the project for providing a “new focus for economic development and superior direction in managing stormwater.”

Back to ENR's Best of the Best Projects 2019