The Stormwater Blog 

Contech Stormwater experts discussing Low Impact Development, Onsite Water Management, Rainwater Harvesting and all things Stormwater.


Regulations


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How to Size a Hydrodynamic Separator
Hydrodynamic Separators (HDS) have been used in the stormwater industry for over 20 years.  They are effective at removing TSS, hydrocarbons, and trash and debris from stormwater runoff and are often used for standalone treatment or pretreatment to filtration, detention, infiltration and rainwater harvesting system.  With the varied applications for HDS units comes a multitude of sizing options. 
All Stormwater Particles Are Not The Same Part 2: Particle Shape And Density

EPA selected a removal standard of 80% total suspended solids (TSS) removal as the target pollutant of concern due to high TSS concentrations ubiquitous impact on water quality and degradation to aquatic habitat. Many other pollutants of concern are particle-bound, and TSS is thereby a surrogate for other pollutants. Testing methodologies for stormwater control measures (SCMs) in respects to TSS can vary greatly. There are many sediment characteristics that should be considered when evaluating a SCM for TSS removal performance to ensure apples and apples are being compared among removal efficiencies for SCMs.

All Stormwater Particles Are Not The Same. Part 1: Particle Size And Composition

The EPA selected a removal standard of 80% total suspended solids (TSS) removal as the target pollutant of concern due to high TSS concentrations impact on water quality and degradation to aquatic habitat. Many other pollutants of concern are particle-bound, and TSS is thereby a surrogate for other pollutants. Testing methodologies for stormwater control measures (SCMs) in respects to TSS can vary greatly. In part two, we’ll continue our look at stormwater sediment and discuss particle shape and density and their affect on TSS removal.

Bioretention Part Three: Lessons Being  Learned – Siting Issues and Inlet Design

Not done with siting issues yet, maybe this becomes five parts? One issue on siting and design is the hydraulic grade lines. Recall from your road drainage days the equations that were used to space catch pits and throat openings? The equations allowed for you to estimate gutter efficiency and top width for specified design storms. Well, these equations still apply, and I am thinking maybe even more considerations for very low flows.

Bioretention Part One: Lessons Being Learned

As bioretention becomes more popular, many types of designs are being deployed throughout the U.S.  Though relatively simple in concept, many are finding that the devil is in the details with respect to maintenance and performance.  These issues are driving newer designs and improving criteria for use. Over my next few posts, I will be sharing some of the experiences and lessons learned with bioretention design. 

 

Top 11 Acronyms Every Stormwater Engineer Should Know

We are an industry of abbreviations and acronyms. The terms we use on a daily basis can sometimes hold a general or broad meaning in our minds, but the actual definition of these terms may leave our thumbs hovering over the game-show buzzer. To help ease the furrowed brows, we have collected and defined the top 11 terms every Stormwater Engineer should know:

Categories: Regulations
EPA Guidance Provides New Options for Meeting TMDL Goals

The goal of the TMDL program is arguably simple - to develop watershed level conservation plans designed to restore impaired waters and attain applicable water quality standards – but its development and implementation has not been simple. In an attempt to bring new clarity to the process of incorporating TMDLs into stormwater permits, the EPA issued a revised guidance document last November entitled “Establishing Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Wasteload Allocations (WLAs) for Storm Water Sources and NPDES Permit Requirements Based on Those WLAs”.

Rainwater Harvesting Disinfection Methods: Treat It Before You Use It
Using harvested rainwater is not new, it has been in practice for thousands of years (3000 B.C., and may be even earlier).  But we have something that wasn’t available back then; the ability to disinfect rainwater to make it safe for human contact or ingestion.  Harvested rainwater can be safely used outdoors and indoors if the correct steps are taken to treat it. The type of disinfection depends on how the water is going to be used and the requirements of local plumbing codes.  With modern disinfection, rainwater can even be filtered and disinfected to potable standards.
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 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.

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