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Enjoying a spectacular fall in Portland, Oregon leads me to talk about street trees and leaves.As we all know the value of trees extends well beyond stormwater management.  Urban trees provide numerous benefits including providing wildlife food and habitat,  reduction of the heat island effect (up to 4 degrees C)  and reduction in CO2 emissions and

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We’ve all heard the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees,” but when’s the last time you can remember it applying to yourself?  As a stormwater engineer, I’ve spent 15 years focusing on the design of natural systems and manufactured devices that treat and/or infiltrate post-construction runoff, and there is ample opportunity to get lost in

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When it comes to using hydrodynamic separator (HDS) treatment devices, it is becoming commonplace to integrate them into storm sewer networks without worrying about the hydraulic impact of the device. After all, the majority of these devices are manholes or vaults with flow-through treatment, which are seemingly uncomplicated when compared to those

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With stormwater pollutant removal requirements increasing nationwide, the demand for robust filtration has also increased.  Designing and specifying a properly functioning filter extends beyond specifying the correct product (media or membrane filter) and sizing correctly (flow or volume based).  These additional considerations are classified as

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For this issue of the Stormwater Blog, I thought it would be beneficial to include a short video to better visually illustrate the durability and general advantages of Aluminized Type 2 (ALT2) corrugated steel pipe (CSP) detention/infiltration systems.The protective coating of aluminized type 2 corrugated steel pipes is composed of a free aluminum

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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

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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

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I had an interesting sequence of thoughts after watching my 12-year old daughter chat with a friend on her cell phone about a music video they were simultaneously streaming on their laptops.  It’s easy to marvel at a kid’s fluidity with technology that didn’t exist when they were born, but I realized that I, too, experienced this rapid adoption of

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Why we need risers?If you’ve ever walked down a city street and stepped over a 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

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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.Just like many stormwater treatment systems, sometimes rainwater harvesting systems are forgotten about because

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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.As site conditions

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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,

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As the need for effective stormwater treatment and volume control grows, so does the number of available stormwater control measures (SCMs) such as filtration systems, hydrodynamic separators, bio-retention  systems, green roofs and pervious pavement. As part of their due diligence, engineers go through an evaluation process to determine if the

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As a state stormwater regulator, I see many stormwater plans. These plans detail everything that would be done to protect water quality and prevent erosion. Yet even a well-written and well-executed BMP plan will not provide the intended service without proper maintenance.Recently, there has been a big push to implement more landscape-based BMPs

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Drafting stormwater regulations that are clear, comprehensive and effective is crucial to protecting and preserving receiving waters.  The Clean Water Act has yielded a wide spectrum of local stormwater regulations and policies, but many leave something to be desired when it comes to actually mitigating the impacts of urban runoff.  It has been our

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Mother Nature’s soil is the best of all urban stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). Precipitation infilitrates the soil, reduces runoff, filters and captures most pollutants, recharges groundwater, and maintains a diverse, self-sustaining biological community.Conservation of natural soils and urbanization are diametrically opposed. When

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After the first part of our four-part Rainwater Harvesting webinar series, Rainwater Harvesting as a Runoff Reduction Tool, participants had the opportunity to ask our Rainwater Harvesting experts questions.We didn't have enough time in the hour to answer all of the questions, so we are posting them here so that they are available to all. These

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The task of selecting the proper stormwater BMP for your site can be tedious. There are thousands of choices; from drainage swales and silt fences to hydrodynamic separation and storm water filtration systems. All of them have their place in a well written BMP Plan, but none of them will work without maintenance. During my time as a state

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Filtering stormwater is an effective way to remove the most challenging pollutants from urban runoff - including fine solids, soluble heavy metals, and total nutrients. Though the physics of filtration are the same, there are many variables to consider when designing a stormwater filtration system. It’s important when designing a filter treatment

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All stormwater BMP’s will require maintenance at some time or time interval. Long-term maintenance costs and maintainability are very important considerations. Here are some other things you should consider when discussing maintenance of your stormwater filtration system.1. Evaluate availability of maintenance contracting. It is the nature of

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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...1. Protection from Construction DebrisBioretention box soil must be protected from compaction by heavy equipment traffic during construction.

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