Unlocking the Advantages: The 5 Benefits of Proprietary Stormwater Treatment Systems

Proprietary stormwater treatment systems, or stormwater control measures (SCMs), offer several unique benefits compared to traditional land-based SCMs.  Perhaps best known for their space-efficient design, making them well-suited and essential tools when managing stormwater runoff in ultra-urban environments, proprietary SCMs have several additional benefits discussed below: 

  1. Space Efficiency: First emerging to meet an unmet need in space-constrained urban environments, proprietary SCMs are designed to be compact and space-efficient, making them highly suitable for urban or constrained environments where land availability is limited and costs are high, and traditional land-based practices may not be feasible. Many proprietary SCMs can be installed underground, within existing infrastructure, and in small-footprint areas, maximizing land use efficiency while providing effective stormwater treatment.
  2. Targeted Performance: We've come a long way since the first baffle boxes and hydrodynamic separators (HDS) became available 25+ years ago.   With limited effectiveness beyond coarse solids removal and prone to scour during peak flow events, these early offerings rightfully brought the performance of proprietary SCMs under scrutiny. 20+ years of testing and innovation have given rise to numerous highly effective proprietary SCMs, including screening systems, media and membrane filters, and engineered biofiltration systems. Proprietary SCMs can now be selected and sized to maximize performance for the pollutants of concern, including very fine solids and dissolved pollutants like metals and phosphorus. When tested and sized conservatively, even our modern HDS systems can consistently remove a modest fraction of the TSS load and attached pollutants without the risk of scour.
  3. Customizable Design: Proprietary SCMs offer a wealth of flexibility in design and configuration options to meet specific project requirements and site conditions. Engineers can select from various system sizes (including customized solutions), pipe sizes and entry/exit angles, vehicular traffic and other load-rated structures, shallow or deep configurations, and customized filtration media options to tailor the system to the site's unique needs and achieve desired pollutant removal goals.
  4. Ease of Maintenance: Maintenance requirements for proprietary SCMs vary considerably depending on the type of practice, but due to their compact footprint and intentionally maintainable designs, maintenance of proprietary SCMs tends to be faster and cheaper than that of many equivalent types of land-based SCMs. Proprietary SCMs are intentionally designed to be accessible, and most can be inspected from the surface without specialized equipment or confined space entry. When it comes time for them to be cleaned or replaced with media or critical components to maintain optimal performance, detailed maintenance procedures are available for each type of system. Contech can also align you with certified maintenance providers trained to maintain your specific practice or provide training to those equipped to do it themselves.
  5. Compliance with Regulations: Proprietary SCMs can help developers, municipalities, and property owners comply with applicable stormwater regulations and permit requirements. Contech employs a team of regulatory professionals who ensure our SCMs are tested in full accordance with local standards and protocols. They then work with our local engineering and field teams to tailor our designs to meet all applicable sizing and design criteria. Nobody likes rejection or uncertainty, so we proactively submit our solutions for vetting by local jurisdictions.   Doing the heavy lifting in advance helps us ensure that the majority of the time, there are few surprises or regulatory pushbacks on individual projects. Having dedicated local teams also gives a leg up on knowing unique local requirements, be it specialized frames and covers, oversized access openings, or preferred plantings.

Overall, proprietary SCMs offer a wide breadth of versatile and effective solutions for managing stormwater runoff and protecting water resources. Their ability to achieve high pollutant removal efficiencies, adapt to site-specific conditions, provide consistent performance, and be fully restored through routine maintenance makes them a valuable tool in sustainable stormwater management strategies.