Tag: urban stormwater

Because impervious surfaces (parking lots, roads, buildings, compacted soil) do not allow rain to infiltrate into the ground, more runoff is generated than in the undeveloped condition. This additional runoff can erode watercourses (streams and rivers) as well as cause flooding after the stormwater collection system is overwhelmed by the additional flow. Because the water is flushed out of the watershed during the storm event, little infiltrates the soil, replenishes groundwater, or supplies stream baseflow in dry weather.

Reader Profile: Mark Doneux

Reader Profile: Mark Doneux

It takes only 10% impervious cover in a watershed before water bodies start becoming impaired. In the St. Paul, MN, region, it’s at 42%. Mitigating that is both satisfying and challenging for Mark Doneux, administrator for the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), one of Minnesota’s 48 watershed districts. It was

Challenges of Urban Water Infrastructure

Challenges of Urban Water Infrastructure

AT PRESENT, 80.7% OF the US population resides in urban areas (US Census Bureau 2012). Increased urbanization (paved areas and buildings) and urban population growth has exerted significant pressure on urban water demand and expansion of urban water infrastructure—i.e., potable water supplies, wastewater treatment and discharge, and urban stormwater runoff

Urban Water Management

Urban Water Management

AT PRESENT, 80.7% OF the US population resides in urban areas (US Census Bureau 2012). Increased urbanization (paved areas and buildings) and urban population growth has exerted significant pressure on urban water demand and expansion of urban water infrastructure—i.e., potable water supplies, wastewater treatment and discharge, and urban stormwater runoff

“Mildly Radioactive”

“Mildly Radioactive”

Those of us concerned with surface water quality generally keep a wary eye on the amount of nutrients entering our lakes and rivers. Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers—much of it from agricultural lands, some from urban stormwater runoff—are a big contributor to algae blooms and dead zones, and in high

Energy Reservoirs

Energy Reservoirs

“It takes a lot of water to make electricity and it takes a lot of electricity to pump, move, and, now, recycle and reuse water,” writes Joe Grindstaff, general manager of Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) on the interconnectedness of these two resources.

IEUA provides wastewater collection and treatment services

Who Should Pay? Navigating the Narrow Path to Fair Utility Fees

Who Should Pay? Navigating the Narrow Path to Fair Utility Fees

We’ve published quite a few articles about the thorny process of setting up a stormwater utility, about what works and what—sometimes spectacularly—fails. Although utilities are a good way for a city to generate a reliable, steady income, they often meet with resistance from a whole lot of people—from residents who

Editor’s Comments: A Question of Responsibility

Editor’s Comments: A Question of Responsibility

Here’s the kind of situation we don’t like to think about but probably should. In October, a Pennsylvania family filed a lawsuit against Radnor Township because of injuries their son suffered after falling into a pool of water formed by an undersized stormwater culvert. I mentioned the lawsuit in a

Street Sweeping 101

Street Sweeping 101

Since its inception in the early 1900s, mechanized street sweeping has been used to remove what might be termed “cosmetic” or “political” debris from roadways and other paved surfaces. Conventional wisdom has always dictated that if a street looked clean, it was clean. Today however, this reason for sweeping is

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