Douglas Weikel, director of civil engineering and geomatics at Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc. (HRG), won the first Golden Rain Drop awarded by the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association (PWEA) at ceremonies held during PennTec 2013. Weikel has been extremely active in the newly formed PWEA Stormwater Committee, of which he became chair on June 3. He organized stormwater sessions at PennTec 2013 and is coordinating PWEA’s first full-day stormwater workshop to be held Sept. 12.
In addition to his association work, Weikel oversees the completion of all municipal and water resource engineering projects, as well as construction, survey, and geographic information system (GIS) services, completed by HRG. He is knowledgeable about the principles and practices of civil infrastructure design, land development, water and wastewater engineering, and construction administration.
Weikel has worked with more than a dozen county governments and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection developing countywide stormwater management plans. Some of these projects included integrated water resource management.
Stormwater Report – What would you say is currently one of the most important stormwater issues in your state?
Weikel – Most stormwater issues stem from regulations and how we react to address new regulations. In Pennsylvania, I think the most important stormwater issue is funding. Typically, Pennsylvania municipalities use general revenue funds to pay for sorely needed infrastructure improvements, as well as required stormwater programs (stemming from municipal separate sewer system permits). This system is usually unfair and inequitable, leaving infrastructure and stormwater programs neglected.
Stormwater Report – How did you become a stormwater professional?
Weikel – As an engineer, my goal is to find solutions to problems. While working on the design of civil engineering projects, I needed to comply with regulatory agency requirements, including stormwater regulations. I always thought that stormwater management must be part of each project we design.
Stormwater Report – Of the stormwater programs and projects that you have participated in during your career, which have you enjoyed most?
Weikel – Pennsylvania’s Act 167 Stormwater Management Program was the best program that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection used to implement stormwater management regulations throughout the state. Between 2006 and 2009, I (through my company HRG) assisted 16 counties in developing countywide stormwater management plans. I provided many municipalities within each of those counties with up-to-date regulations consistent with current state requirements, as well as focused guidance in studied watersheds for infrastructure improvement.
Stormwater Report – What words of advice do you have for future stormwater professionals?
Weikel – Be patient. Stormwater management is a relatively new engineering field. As I said before, regulations are the main driver for the stormwater engineering community. In addition, don’t focus solely on stormwater. Remember that stormwater management is only part of how we protect our most valuable natural resource — water.