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In civil engineering and stormwater management, a design storm refers to a specific rainfall event defined and described by the statistical likelihood of the event occurring in a given rainfall year. Design storms are used as a standard for designing and evaluating stormwater infrastructure. For example, local stormwater standards commonly call out the 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, and 100-year storm events and the water quality storm event for a given geography, each of which plays a role in the design and implementation of stormwater infrastructure.

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At first glance, singing the praises of one’s own employer might seem a bit self-serving, but as a dedicated environmental professional, I do feel the story is worth telling.  I don’t have to work here after all, but Contech’s sustained commitment to developing effective stormwater control measures (SCMs), advancing stormwater science, and advocating for robust stormwater policy has kept me motivated to keep at it for 22 years and counting. 

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Eliminating illicit discharges within our storm sewers through an illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE) program is critical to improving the overall health of local waterways. Illicit discharges, like stormwater runoff generated within the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), flow directly into a receiving waterbody. Whereas post-construction stormwater control measures (SCMs) are designed to reduce typical pollutants (e.g. sediment, trash, and nutrients) in stormwater runoff prior to it entering receiving waters, illicit discharges pose a unique challenge because they contain atypical pollutants that can go untreated and may also increase the maintenance frequency of post-construction SCMs.

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We are an industry of abbreviations and acronyms. The terms we use daily can sometimes hold a general or broad meaning in our minds, but the actual definition

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Phosphorus is the second-most-regulated pollutant in stormwater runoff after total suspended solids. However, engineers and regulators are still learning how to

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