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Edwards Aquifer

San Antonio, Texas

Installation:

May 2014

Approved by both the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Stormceptor provides continuous positive treatment of total suspended solids (TSS) and containment of dangerous spills under even the harshest conditions.

In addition to its stormwater treatment capabilities, Stormceptor is also uniquely cost-effective. Unlike treatment ponds or swales, Stormceptor systems do not require additional capital outlay for land or right-of-way expenditures. By utilizing Stormceptor treatment systems, municipalities do not need to acquire additional land, like that would for land based treatment systems. In one project for a local county, for example, the use of Stormceptor technology reduced the cost of obtaining an additional right-of-way by $4 million.

Covering over 4,350 square miles and 11 counties, the Edwards Aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for over 1.7 million residents in this growing region of south-central Texas. Stormceptor was found to be ideal for protecting the Aquifer’s recharge zone (the area where surface water enters the aquifer). “In addition to being the drinking water source for San Antonio, the Edwards Aquifer springs are also habitats for several endangered species, so we’re trying to protect both drinking water quality and threatened species,” said Dr. Michael Barrett of the Center for Research in Water Resources, University of Texas, who assisted the TCEQ in reviewing and approving the Stormceptor technology.

Stormceptor protects the region by maintaining continuous positive treatment of total suspended solids (TSS), regardless of flow rate. They capture and contain a wide range of particles, as well as free oils, heavy metals, hydrocarbons and nutrients that attach to fine sediment.

Many counties and cities within the Texas’ Edwards Aquifer region have either installed or included Stormceptor units when permitting their new transportation projects. The Cities of San Antonio and Austin have both purchased Stormceptors for numerous highway and road projects, preferring Stormceptor over other technologies due to several design features. These include: AASHTO HS-20 highway live loading, its use as a junction structure, and the Stormceptor’s small, compact footprint.

For these municipalities, cost-effectiveness and sustainable performance have been a key factor. Indeed, planners have found that the Stormceptor’s design features integrate with the geography of the region to provide consistently high performance under all conditions.

Stormceptor units have been installed along I-35 at the San Marcus River to protect against hazardous materials spills. Stormceptor has a proven record of capturing pollutants at the source, during traffic accidents, as well as ordinary spills that occur each day along heavily-traveled routes. Its ability to meet water quality standards while capturing free hydrocarbons make Stormceptor an ideal choice for spill containment, and since hydrocarbons are trapped in a secondary containment system, the cost of clean-up is minimized.

Residents across Texas are keenly aware of environmental issues surrounding transportation projects. In regions such as the Edwards Aquifer, drinking water quality is on the line. In other areas, ecological integrity, quality of life and water-based tourist economies are crucial to any development decisions. And more and more, economic issues are at the forefront of infrastructure projects as well.

The challenge? To protect the environment while keeping the costs of infrastructure projects in check. With Stormceptor, Texans can rest assured that spills and urban runoff are being controlled – and thanks to the design features of the Stormwater Treatment System, costs are also being kept in check.

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