Contech Stormwater experts discuss designing stormwater BMP’s, regulations, maintenance issues, and all things stormwater.
Oh stormwater treatment performance lab testing, your time-consuming, methodical steps make me want to pull my hair out. You often leave me with more questions than answers. However, the benefits often counterbalance the challenges. Thank you for answering my questions, even if I must endure the tedious steps of the scientific method; a method that researchers need to follow to answer questions related to cause and effect. The scientific method proves results are caused by isolating variables and testing in different conditions, to validate or invalidate a hypothesis.
When we generate new ideas, how well do we transition from initial innovation to general acceptance and widespread implementation? One of the critical factors in this process seems to be the availability of support and maintenance services within an industry. These innovations need to function reliably over time, and as many are too complicated for us to maintain ourselves, we depend on various support mechanisms such as auto mechanics and the helpful geek at the Apple Store to ensure this longevity.
The initial wave of manufactured treatment devices (MTDs) were generally simpler than options available today. With few exceptions, early MTDs were comprised predominantly of swirl/vortex and other types of gravity separators that targeted solids and floating pollutants. State and local stormwater programs were in their infancy and were predominantly focused on reducing suspended solids loads. Our knowledge of particle size distributions and other common pollutants carried by stormwater paled in comparison to what we know today. MTD testing protocols were non-existent leaving early MTD providers to devise their own and make their case for acceptance. Regulators recognizing the need for underground solutions, especially in urban areas, implemented crude MTD performance criteria typically rooted in demonstrating removal of coarse solids in the laboratory.
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