The Stormwater Blog 

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


Maintenance


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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. 
What Tools Are in Your Stormwater Toolbox?
Over the last 20 years of site-civil design, it has been interesting to see stormwater trends come and go.  Some design methodologies have disappeared, only to return later or in a nearby geography as the “new” approach.  Agency directives can shift based on new leadership or the prevalent regional concerns at the time.  As the construction industry finds less expensive solutions or improved constructability, they can also lead a shift in regional site design.  Things change—and from many angles.
Why Isn’t my BMP More Like my iPhone?

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.

Categories: Maintenance
Risers and Cleanouts – The Tip of the Iceberg
If you’ve ever walked down a city street and stepped over at manhole with the label “STORMWATER” nestled in the pavement, chances are you’ve skimmed the surface of a detention system. If you were to lift up that manhole lid and peer down into its’ depths, you might be surprised to find a whole underground network of pipes and products designed to prevent flooding and treat stormwater.
Did My Rainwater Harvesting System Just Text Me?
As rainwater harvesting is becoming a more popular choice for stormwater management and runoff reduction, additional features are becoming available to allow for monitoring, report generation, and managing systems from a website interface.

 

 

Designing CMP Detention Systems Part Three – Design Red Flags
In our third and final part of our blog series we will look at design red flags for CMP detention systems. Red flags are design elements that are commonly or easily overlooked and may need extra attention when designing. Considering the red flags upfront will expedite the design and fabrication process, and eliminate delays, installation, and performance issues.
Maintenance Resiliency of Stormwater Treatment Facilities
With the passage of time and the placement of stormwater treatment facilities into service in urbanized areas, it’s been possible to observe how these facilities age. All too often, the majority of effort and focus is placed upon the design and construction of stormwater treatment facilities, which are often neglected or forgotten once construction is complete. Depending on circumstances, this often results in deferred (if not nonexistent) maintenance of these facilities, which only worsens with time as the facilities age and accumulate collected pollutants with each passing year.
Categories: Maintenance
6 Key Points of Developing a Stormwater Trash Control Strategy
In my last blog post, What Kind of Trash and Debris is in Stormwater Runoff?, I wrote about the types of trash found in stormwater and the effects trash and debris have on our environment and infrastructure. 

Continuing with the topic of trash control; if your community is interested in developing a trash control strategy here are six key points that should be considered
Stormwater Control Measures:  Are We Capturing All the Costs?
Most models and approaches toward cost accounting of Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) use standardized engineering economics. These models use the first cost and annualized O&M costs, brought forward to present value using assumed interest rates, etc. Models that are more sophisticated will break the first costs down to show engineering design, project administration, land, and construction costs. O&M costs can be segmented for minor and major operations. In some models, costs are estimated from a statistical database based on costs from other projects. For example, the cost of pond maintenance is estimated on data from ten case history’s which are normalized to the area of the pond. Others are based on unit costs of labor, equipment, disposal costs, administration, etc. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. However, my guess is that both methods lack the precision that people are looking for, and is some cases, are underestimating or overestimating costs.
Three Maintenance Tips For Your Rainwater Harvesting Cistern
All stormwater systems need to be maintained to continue operating effectively, and rainwater harvesting (RWH) is no exception. Unfortunately, many owners do not care that their stormwater BMP is not functioning due to lack of maintenance. Maintenance of RWS systems is critical for owners that depend on their continued operation and associated utility savings. Proper maintenance of a RWH cistern helps protect water quality and ensure system performance.
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