The Stormwater Blog 

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

Evaluating Media for the Filtration of Stormwater

During the past decade, a number of different media have been used for stormwater filtration and more recently for bioretention. Media such as sand, peat, and compost have been used successfully. Uses of perlite, zeolite, carbon, and other "exotic" media have expanded the choices for targeting specific pollutants. Media are now being used to target TSS, Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Dissolved Phosphorus, dissolved metals and even bacteria. More recent research in biofiltration adds elements of biological uptake of nutrients and metals by plants, conversion of Nitrogen into ammonia in anaerobic zones.

Categories: Treatment, Filtration
Is Green Infrastructure Diminishing Innovation?

Since the Environmental Protection Agency, and in turn state and local regulators, have gone all in on green infrastructure (GI) and low impact development (LID) concepts a seemingly regrettable consequence has emerged.  Topics specific to the broader adoption and implementation of GI have monopolized our collective dialog on stormwater management of late.   The predominantly positive press and barrage of GI heavy conference agendas seemingly suggest that if we apply GI far and wide then water quality impairments caused by urban runoff will soon be a thing of the past.  GI provides stormwater practitioners with invaluable tools to aid in the stormwater fight, but many site specific challenges can’t be surmounted with GI solutions alone.  To that end, should we be concerned that overemphasis on GI is discouraging innovation?

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.
Why Pretreat Your Stormwater Infiltration System?
Hands down, the most important factor in the sustainability of any infiltration system is proper maintenance. By their very nature, infiltration systems are difficult to inspect and maintain. The selection of a cost-effective and easy-to-access treatment system can mean a huge difference in maintenance expenses for years to come.
Four Rainwater Harvesting Cistern Design Considerations
Rainwater Harvesting does not have a long history of use in modern site design, but now that it is a topic of interest, many engineers have questions about this new practice. Many of these questions center on cisterns, which are at the heart of every rainwater harvester system. This post looks at four rainwater harvesting cistern design considerations – sizing, design life, structural capacity and installation.
Thinking Outside The Box: Infiltration System Layouts
Historically, underground infiltration beds have been laid out in either square or rectangular shapes, sometimes far away from where the actual rain drops fall. These large systems are typically fed by a series of upstream catch basins and conveyance pipes. Several factors contribute to site layout, but mostly it simplifies the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling process, and keeps infiltration beds away from more sensitive underground infrastructure.
Leaves, Trees, and Stormwater BMPs: Designing with Maintenance in Mind
Preserving large trees as runoff interceptors is an integral part of low impact development as well as incorporating trees and vegetation in filtration beds, rain gardens, and bioretention systems. These systems are extremely beneficial and provide essential functions of the natural landscape: infiltration, evaporation, transpiration, interception, and shading.
Traditional stormwater criteria require both improving the quality and managing the quantity of runoff. One of the best practices is to incorporate pretreatment, detention and treatment into an integrated system. This approach can meet total daily maximum load requirements by providing a high level of pollutant removal and preventing erosion damage from peak flows. Many areas may require only some of these processes while some areas may require all of them.
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
Comparison of Materials Choices for Rainwater Harvesting Cisterns
There are a wide variety of cistern materials to choose from. Because they are often smaller in size, residential systems offer more options, but not all will scale to tens of thousands of gallons in a cost-effective manner. This article focuses on commercial and institutional scale projects where storage requirements are thousands of gallons and larger.
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