The Stormwater Blog 

Contech Stormwater experts discuss designing stormwater BMP’s, regulations, maintenance issues, and all things stormwater.

Entries for 'Vaikko Allen'

Seeing the Forest and the Trees in Stormwater Treatment System Monitoring Data
The International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database project website (http://bmpdatabase.org) features a database that includes over 600 BMP performance studies.  This is a tremendous free resource for engineers, scientists, policymakers and others who seek to characterize the pollutant removal and hydrologic performance of various stormwater treatment systems. And, like any database, it is only as reliable as the information that goes into it.  To improve reliability, their website also includes monitoring program design guidance and data input tools that allow a standardized format and content for summary reports.  However, whether looking at an individual test of a single treatment system or a database with hundreds of results, it is important to focus not only what the data tells us, but also what stories we may be missing. 
Stormwater in the west: Use it or lose it!

At about 2.5% of the total water volume on the planet, we’ve always had roughly the same amount of freshwater. Unfortunately, it seems that, at the local level, the amount of fresh water made available through precipitation is increasingly erratic, with the last year featuring historic floods in the eastern US and historic drought in the west. In my adopted home state of California, 2013 was officially the driest year on record and snowpack, groundwater and reservoir levels throughout the state are critically low. Although we’ve undertaken extensive engineering feats in the form of reservoirs, diversions and water supply pipelines, local water management decisions provide our greatest leverage on local water supply.

When Conventional Bioretention is Not Feasible, Consider Tree Box Filters
Perhaps the most recognized Low Impact Development technique, bioretention, incorporates landscaped features to slowly percolate stormwater runoff through plants and engineered soil prior to infiltrating that water into native soils.
Stormwater Infiltration: Drain-Down Characteristics of Hydrologic Soil Groups
Infiltration plays an increasingly important role in meeting stormwater runoff mitigation regulations. One of the primary considerations for infiltration feasibility is the runoff routing. Infiltration systems must drain in a reasonable amount of time to avoid creating mosquito habitat and to recover storage volume for subsequent storms.
Categories: Infiltration
A Look at the Full Costs of Surface Infiltration Systems
Mother Nature’s soil is the best of all urban stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). Soil infiltrates precipitation, reduces runoff, filters and captures most pollutants, recharges groundwater, and maintains a diverse, self-sustaining biological community.
Stormwater Policy and the Triple Bottom Line – Are we doing what we need to protect water quality?
By now, you’ve probably heard of triple bottom line accounting, a full cost accounting approach considering the economic, environmental and social impacts of a decision or more poetically, the three P’s: people, planet and profit. In the stormwater infrastructure planning world, as in many other urban planning arenas, this approach is gaining popularity.
Four Ways to Keep Your Biofiltration Box Working Properly
Inspection and maintenance are key factors for making sure that your biofiltration box is performing as designed and achieving the required water quality standards.  Here are a few things to keep in mind.

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