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John R. Doutt Upground Reservoir

Pump Station

Inflatable Weir on Scioto River


A rapidly growing area was in need of a sustainable water supply for its more than 1.5 million residents to serve the community well into the future.

Services Involved

  • Architecture
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Planning
  • M/E/P Engineering
  • Public Involvement
  • Right of Way
  • Roadway Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Survey + Mapping
  • Telemetry
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Water Modeling
  • Water Resources


2015 National Recognition Award

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National

2015 Outstanding Achievement Award

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Ohio

2015 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

Franklin County Chapter of Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (FCC-OSPE)

2015 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)

2015 Top Projects Award

Water & Wastes Digest (W&WD)

Upground Reservoirs

In order to provide adequate water supply for the future, the City of Columbus is constructing three upground reservoirs to be supplied by the Scioto River which flows from north to south through the city.


The city commissioned a team led by ms consultants to provide preliminary and final design for the proposed reservoirs recommended in the feasibility study. The three reservoirs will occupy 2,500 acres of land in northwest Delaware County, which is located north of the city and adjacent to Franklin County.


Preliminary design included subsurface investigations; establishment of the reservoir footprints and construction sequence; detailed site surveys; evaluation of the alternative locations for the raw water pump station; and evaluation of alternatives for transmission main pipelines. The evaluation criteria included design constraints; availability of adequate power supply; subsurface conditions; environmental protection; impacts to the community; right-of-way acquisition and construction costs; operation and maintenance considerations; recreational use opportunities; and security requirements.


In addition, the ms consultants team provided environmental investigations, including Cultural Resources; Terrestrial Habitats; Wetlands; Aquatic Habitats; Hazardous Material Investigations. The results of the environmental studies were utilized for preliminary design and analysis of alternatives; detailed design of selected option; documentation for permit applications; defining potential construction mitigation elements; and identifying any operational considerations.


ms also provided the extensive regulatory agency and permitting coordination that a project of this complexity and magnitude requires. The agencies involved include OEPA, ODNR, USCOE, ODOT, Delaware County, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, MORPC, Del-Co Water Co., and local townships. Some of the many permits and approvals that were coordinated include 404/401 permits, NPDES stormwater permits, OEPA plan approval, FEMA approval, erosion control plans, and ODNR permits, among others.


The three planned reservoirs will store approximately 18.3 billion gallons of water, and will provide a design safe yield up to 53 MGD of potable water to Columbus and Del-Co Water Company consumers under a 50 year drought condition.


The reservoirs will be constructed over the next 15-20 years, with the initial project encompassing the following elements:


  • A raw water pump station equipped with four 40-mgd vertical turbine pumps to convey water from the Scioto River to the reservoirs. A 150-foot wide inflatable weir will be installed in the Scioto River adjacent to the pump station to create a backwater pool for adequate submergence of the pumps.
  • The first of the three reservoirs, which is estimated to have a water surface area of 850 acres and total volume of 9.3 billion gallons. A synthetic liner is required for each reservoir to prevent excessive seepage loss due to subsurface conditions.
  • 72-inch water transmission mains are required to link the pump station, the three reservoirs and the proposed Del-Co Water plant. An outfall structure with a flow control valve will also be needed at the southern terminus of the pipeline to release flows back to the Scioto River upstream of the O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.


This project contains one of the nation’s largest synthetic lined upground reservoirs.


The first of the three reservoirs, named the John R. Doutt Upground Reservoir, was officially dedicated on September 30, 2014 in honor of the former Columbus Water Administrator.

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