Catching Up

Catch basin inserts keep debris and sediment from the waterways.

Credit: Joe Arthur, Clear Water Solutions
The Rancho Valencia property

Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
In the 1940s, two former music hall entertainers, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy, purchased an estate in France’s Rhône ­Valley, and by 1952 they had created Relais and Châteaux, with eight hotels and restaurants between Paris and the French Riviera. Today, the association has more than 520 partners around the world.

One of these is the Rancho ­Valencia Resort and Spa in California, a 45-acre property just north of San Diego. The Mediterranean-inspired, all-suite resort opened in 1989. In 2013, it completed a $30 million renovation that included guest casitas, several completely remodeled meeting areas, numerous restaurants and bars, and major enhancements to the spa and fitness center.

Rancho Valencia was selected as a five-star hotel in 2016 by Forbes Travel Guide and was awarded the AAA Five Diamond award three years in a row. The resort has a commitment to a sustainable environment, with a goal of maintaining a small carbon footprint and making a positive contribution to the atmosphere in southern California. Recycling and waste management, electricity ­conservation, and water conservation and reclamation are some of the ­initiatives overseen by the resort’s Green Committee.

Joe Arthur, vice president with ClearWater Solutions in Vista, CA, says that the resort’s renovation included overhauling parts of the storm drains. When the owners realized this would be necessary, they decided to upgrade the catch basins on the property and installed ClearWater Solutions BMP-01 units, which are designed to fit into the existing curb inlet openings. Typically no excavation or concrete modifications are needed.

The Rancho Valencia property”They upgraded and replaced a number of units a few years back,” says Arthur. He explains that as water and debris flow into the inlets, larger materials are captured in trash baskets and do not enter the device. There are three settling chambers in each unit, along with media filters.

“The media can be changed—PathShield is one type of filter, for example—as the pollutants of concern may vary. It’s a simple but very effective device.” Depending upon the pollutants to be targeted, filter media consists of perlite, natural zeolites, and/or activated carbon.

Arthur notes, “All the units onsite are properly maintained and inspected annually, as they should be.” He says maintenance should be performed every 10 to 12 inches of rain, based on southern California’s last seven- to eight-year storm history. Mosquito control is part of the filter design.

“Like an Erector Set, the pieces just fit right into the catch basins. And after it sits awhile the water will drain down to the bottom where there are tiny holes. Once the flow stops, all the water drains out within 48 hours,” he says, so mosquitoes don’t have standing water to breed.

Pepe Rodriguez, maintenance supervisor at Rancho Valencia, says that even during large storms, the resort has never had the system flood. “All we have to do is clean out leaves and trash. We hire a company to maintain the chemicals on the filters and to replace them. That’s just done annually.” The units can be serviced curbside with a shop vac and generator or with a pumper truck.

Credit: Jason Burneyko, DW Smith Associates
Installation of the Jellyfish Filter in Manahassett Creek Park

Manahassett Creek Park
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy’s 80-mile-per-hour winds and 30-foot waves pounded states along the eastern seaboard, especially Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. The storm surge caused massive flooding to coastal highways and communities. Long Branch, NJ, was one of the communities hit hardest.

Long Branch could be called the “true” Jersey Shore. The small town with 2010 population of little more than 30,000 was originally established in 1867. The painter Winslow Homer helped make the location famous in the late 1800s with his paintings that depicted Victorian ladies strolling the boardwalk with ice cream, seemingly without a care in the world. The boardwalk today has the distinction of being the last one that will be rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction.

The boardwalk isn’t the town’s only star attraction. Manahassett Creek Park, referred to as the city’s “crown jewel,” draws outdoor enthusiasts and is used by many Long Branch youth sports teams. The park has become so popular for softball, basketball, football, and soccer that the town council decided it was time to expand. To accommodate the events, new courts, fields, and parking lots were planned and constructed. The dilemma with adding new parking, however, is the expansion of impervious surfaces, decreasing water penetration and increasing runoff.

“As part of the construction of Manahassett Creek Park, there were two paved parking areas installed, each draining into two separate existing drainage systems discharging to the Manahassett Creek,” explains Jason Burneyko, P.E., with DW Smith Associates, an engineering firm in Wall Township, NJ, that was awarded the contract for the stormwater upgrades. “The two parking areas introduced 33,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet of paved impervious areas into the drainage area of the Manahassett Creek. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection identified these parking areas as new impervious areas, which would need to provide approved treatment measures to achieve 80% removal of total suspended solids (TSS) from the stormwater runoff prior to draining into the Manahassett Creek.”

Credit: Jason Burneyko, DW Smith Associates
Installation of the Jellyfish Filter in Manahassett Creek ParkContech Engineered Solutions, located in West Chester, OH offered the most cost-effective solution for the retrofit. Burneyko explains that separate contracts were awarded under different phases of the project. One was for furnishing and installing two Jellyfish Filter units from Contech, which were retrofitted into the existing drainage system. This $260,000 contract included related work for roadway and landscape restoration.

Credit: Jason Burneyko, DW Smith Associates
Jellyfish Filter inlet

“The two units are 8-foot-diameter concrete vaults equipped with filter cartridges that remove pollutants from the stormwater runoff as it enters the structure,” says Burneyko. “One unit was retrofitted into an existing drainage system in a grassed area located outside the boundaries of the playing fields. The second unit was retrofitted into an existing roadway drainage system, located within a grassed island alongside Long Branch Avenue, the perimeter street adjacent to the park.”

Underground Utilities Corporation installed the two 54-inch Jellyfish units, complete with manhole inspection hatches. These hatches accommodate AASHTO HS-20 loading. One unit was installed near the baseball fields, and the other was installed in proximity to the new parking lots.

“The biggest challenges were selecting and designing a water-quality treatment system that would work hydraulically being retrofitted into an existing shallow-depth drainage system, as well as finding an appropriate location to install the large structures,” says Burneyko. “Jellyfish units were selected because of their ability to treat runoff to 80% TSS and because of their ability to handle the shallow depth of installation.”

Credit: Robert Cortes, Agora Hills Dept. of Public Works

Immediately upstream of the units is a manhole constructed with an internal diversion weir. First-flush rainfall gets routed through the Jellyfish units. Larger flows can bypass the units. NJDEP requires that the one-year rainfall event be treated.

Jellyfish Filters work by incorporating pretreatment with lightweight membrane filtration that allows for trash and debris, oil and hydrocarbons, floatables, TSS, and fine silt-sized particles, including metals, to be removed. Stormwater enters the filter through the inlet pipe, and any floatables are trapped below the cartridge deck, but behind the maintenance access area. The water is pressed down below the cartridge deck. Trash and debris are directed to the outside filtration zone, allowing any sand-sized particles to drop out in the sump. Water is then passed to the filtration zone and through the cartridge into the backwash pool. Once that backwash pool is full, clean water overflows and exits through the outlet pipe. After a storm, clean water in the backwash pool flows back through the high-flow membrane cartridge into the low chamber. This backwash extends cartridge life and keeps the membranes clean and ready for a future event.

Credit: United Storm Water Inc.
United Storm Water retrofitted hundreds of catch basins in Agoura Hills.

Malibu Creek Watershed
Malibu Creek watershed, the largest watershed to drain into Santa Monica Bay, consists of 70,651 acres. It sits at the southern portion of Ventura County, CA, and the northwest part of Los Angeles County. About 80% of the watershed area is classified as open space. Agriculture and recreation accounts for 3%, high- and low-density development for 13%, and commercial and industrial development each for about 1%.

To manage the requirements of their MS4 permits, permit holders within the watershed committed to implement an Enhanced Watershed Management Program (EWMP), which encompasses nearly 33,000 acres. Of that, approximately 27% is unincorporated Los Angeles County and 62% is under the jurisdiction of federal and state parks. The EWMP group includes Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, and the cities of Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, and Westlake Village.

A revised total maximum daily load (TMDL) for trash in the Malibu Creek watershed was adopted in 2008, with a goal of zero discharge. Agoura Hills has been working toward 100% compliance with the TMDL by retrofitting storm drains with connector pipe screens and catch basin filters. A flexible schedule allows for the fact that immediate compliance is economically difficult for municipalities. However, by installing full-capture devices in 20% of catch basins annually, the city should achieve compliance with trash TMDL in a five-year period. United Storm Water Inc. has been granted the contract for retrofitting the storm drains and will complete the work in 2017.

Robert Cortes with the Agoura Hills Department of Public Works says United Storm Water is currently completing the installation of BMPs within the city’s storm drain system. “When done, we’ll have about 500 retrofitted catch basins. The city is in the process to complete the fourth phase of the project, and after this round is completed, the city will be considered as having addressed 100% of all basins identified.”

Cortes explains that while the retrofitting work was being done, the city was also stenciling all storm drain curbs. “The county helped out with that part of the project. They put a stencil with blue paint that notifies the public not to put trash down in the storm drain because it leads to the ocean.”

The drains are also stenciled on the inside. “That is so you can just look through at the back wall, and they painted a scale to know when the level gets too high, so we are able to do maintenance at the right time.”

United Storm Water installed DrainPac storm drain filter inserts, which capture up to 97% of TSS and prevent litter, debris, heavy metals, and hydrocarbons from going into the storm drain as well. Each storm drain filter is fabricated and assembled individually.

“United has come out to each location to clean the basins and outlet pipe,” says Cortes. “And they have to take all measurements for the screens and filter baskets. Then they go back to the facility to construct each screen and filter basket to specifications.”

The DrainPac filters are custom-made. United Storm Water provides fabrication and installation, inspections, cleaning, and reporting. All of the filter liners are made with 4-ounce nonwoven polypropylene and will withstand flow rates of 140 gallons per minute per square foot, and have PVC mesh for overflow bypass. The frame assemblies are made of stainless steel and PVC molding.

Cortes says the maintenance is easy. “Basins are cleaned manually two to three times per year, so far,” he says. “The cleaning crew makes notes on each location to record the approximate percentage of dirt, trash, and plastics. This is an effort to try to classify what is retained. The debris is disposed of via an approved hauler such as Waste Management, and anything recyclable is separated.”

He says, “The biggest challenge has been that we have faced some flooding a couple of times. We have discovered that some of the basins that have shallow depths can easily get clogged during heavy rains if the units are not cleaned before the first major storm, but the results we have seen so far are very encouraging.

“We just completed one round of cleaning that tackled 245 locations. It took the team of three or four people approximately 10 days to clean and photograph these units. They also collected approximately 17 tons of trash, debris, and leaves.” SW_bug_web


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