The Stormwater Blog 

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

My Relationship with Lab-based Stormwater Treatment Performance Testing

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.

Categories: Testing
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
Manufactured Stormwater Treatment Devices (MTDs) Frustrations, Misperceptions, and Concerns.  Part 2: Crossing the MTD Divide

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.

Manufactured Stormwater Treatment Devices (MTDs) Frustrations, Misperceptions, and Concerns.  Part 1: Frustration is a Two-Way Street
Having spent the last sixteen years immersed in the world of stormwater best management practices (BMPs), with particular emphasis on manufactured treatment devices (MTDs), I’ve repeatedly borne witness to the frustrations, misperceptions, and concerns raised by all walks of stormwater professionals relative to MTDs.  
Categories: Regulations
Limited Parking
This month’s blog post comes from Janice Kaspersen, editor of Stormwater magazine.

Did you drive to work this morning? Was a parking space waiting for you when you arrived? Many cities require developers to provide a minimum number of parking spaces for office, retail, and residential buildings; sometimes the number is based on the square footage of the building, sometimes on occupancy. Many calculate the required number of spaces based on peak demand. 

Categories: Regulations
Filter Loading: Why Mass Load Capacity Matters in Flow-Through Filters
Given the number of conversations I’ve had in recent months with other stormwater professionals that don’t entirely understand the value of incorporating the sediment mass load capacity of a filtration BMP into the design process, I feel it’s time to revisit the subject.  
Sizing Considerations for Stormwater Filtration Systems
There are several factors to consider when selecting the most appropriate stormwater filtration solution for a specific site.  Several of these factors easily come to mind, such as: state or jurisdiction regulations, hydraulic grade line limitations, footprint constraints, and other site restrictions.  One variable that is often overlooked when reviewing a site is the methodology used to determine the specific quantity of filter cartridges or filter media.  Filter designs fall under one of three methods: flow-based design, volume-based design, or mass-load design.  
Categories: Treatment, Filtration
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.
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. 
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.

 

 

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