About the Author

 

Barbara Hesselgrave

Articles by Barbara Hesselgrave

IDDE Programs Revisited

| Today, the once-ritual Sunday dinner at Grandma’s has largely fallen to the wayside and is a memory of a bygone era. But for those of us who can remember it, the post-meal cleanup after these gastronomic events had specific protocols that recalled Depression-era deprivation and the “waste not, want not” philosophy. First, all the uneaten ... READ MORE

Challenges and Opportunities in Maintaining Lake Erie’s Maritime Highways

| As the restless spirit overtook American colonists to push west for land, the harbors of the Great Lakes were a welcoming landscape. Here lay the potential to expand their dreams of a flourishing commerce—to export the bounty of prosperous farms and products of fledgling industry. This possibility was enhanced with the extensive canal and rail ... READ MORE

Restoring Euclid Beach

| By the end of the 19th century, Americans were enjoying the benefits of shorter work hours and new technologies. The cultural overhaul included the popularity of outdoor exercise and fresh air, and that sparked the advent of amusement parks, beach bathing, and other outdoor entertainments. Typically situated on lake or ocean shores, with access by special trolley trains, these warm-weather attractions brought crowds away from the urban heat for bathing, refreshments, and eventually amusement rides such as carousels and roller coasters. ... READ MORE

Movin’ Down the Highway

| Two decades ago, while working as the erosion control supervisor in Orange County, NC, Warren Faircloth, the then-county inspector, frequently observed a recurring problem with sediment control on construction projects. ... READ MORE

Remove Landfill Air Space With Wheels and Teeth

| Location is Everything In Montezuma County, located in the southwest corner of Colorado, the local county landfill is well positioned for business in this area that is suitably named, “Four Corners.” Along with the Colorado trash, customers bring in solid waste from three adjacent states of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, making the daily average of incoming waste about 100 tons. ... READ MORE

Heavy Duty Cycle

| Industry innovations often arise from the people whose everyday work poses a frustrating obstacle. “If we could only do…” or “If there was just a machine that did…think how much better our work product could be!” Marshalling ideas plus experience and faced with the growing dilemma of keeping equipment clean, Garrett Excavating founded Neptune Wheel ... READ MORE

Getting the Air Out

| Location is Everything In Montezuma County, located in the southwest corner of Colorado, the local county landfill is well positioned for business in this area that is suitably named, “Four Corners.” Along with the Colorado trash, customers bring in solid waste from three adjacent states of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, making the daily average of incoming waste about 100 tons. ... READ MORE

The Benefits of Engineered Soils

| Engineered soil: it sounds like a new concept, but one historical record notes it is more than 1,000 years old. In the sixth century AD, a group of ascetic monks left the lush, green mainland of Ireland seeking a new, remote environment to practice their dedication and humility. Braving the North Sea, they landed on Skellig Michael, "bristling lava cliffs and wrinkled glaciers coming down to the sea," which could not have offered a more challenging opportunity for survival. Scoured by glaciers in earlier millennia, it was a punishing environment where little grew. The monks created arable soil by mixing sand and seaweed on the limestone karst, enabling them to grow vegetables. It worked, and the concept spread; the practice of mixing sand and seaweed to grow potatoes persisted through the 1700s. ... READ MORE

Heavy-Duty Support

| There are few more compelling images of the American adventure than those of the Old West. Whether depicted in fiction, photos, film, or ballads, they celebrate the heyday when gold, copper, and silver were king. While many succeeded but most just found high prices, disappointment, and hard work, the allure continued to draw young and old, rich and poor from every corner of the globe to go west and strike it rich. ... READ MORE

Specialized Attachments and Machines for Productivity and Safety

| Almost everyone has had the experience where frustration with the inefficiency of a tool or machine prompts the request to the universe: "If only someone invented a tool that could do this better I'd be done by now." In heavy equipment when time is money this is especially true, but sometimes innovation is driven by a need more crucial than efficiency: safety. ... READ MORE

Helping Nature Clean Up

| Some of the best innovations can be sparked by an event that underscores an unmet need, and the outcome is often new technology based on a simple idea. ... READ MORE

Tasked with Being Tough

| Headlines of disaster have been almost nonstop in recent years with hurricanes, floods, tornados, wildfires, and earthquakes making big news. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cites the cost of the last few decades of disasters at $1 trillion. And this doesn’t even include hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, with Hurricane Harvey potentially the biggest financial weather disaster, causing damage that may end up costing the US almost $3 billion. ... READ MORE

From Harness to Horsepower and Beyond

| Trash collection might be the most unfairly maligned public service that rarely merits public attention for its community service. Unless there isn’t any. And then practically overnight, the hue and cry of anxiety of uncollected trash escalates into a community’s worst nightmare, making customers downright giddy to hear the familiar noise and clatter of the big trucks coming to restore neighborhood order. But in the 21st century, that comforting and familiar whine of diesel engines and compaction doing their job is getting quieter and quicker. ... READ MORE

A Showcase of Innovation

| While the British were bemoaning their failed attempt to retake America in 1812, the Commonwealth of Virginia was busy preparing to avert any future invasions. The small town of Lexington, VA, located in a geographically well-protected southwestern corner of the state in the Shenandoah Valley, was deemed a perfect location to store weapons for just that purpose. However, it wasn’t long before a group of enterprising individuals belonging to the Franklin Society, an intellectual debate organization, had other ideas. They asserted that the Lexington weapons arsenal location would be better suited as a school to provide military training as well as a standard educational curriculum. ... READ MORE

New Opportunities and Strategic Models to Cope With Sea Rise

| When perspectives on sea level rise are considered, they might easily take on the glass-half-empty or glass-half-full analogy. For many, the glass is half empty and spells doom for thriving municipalities, helplessly sinking into the sea—reminiscent of the cinematic moment in which Charlton Heston finds the Statue of Liberty submerged on the extinct Manhattan shoreline, the outcome of unchecked human folly. ... READ MORE

Meeting the Challenges in Vacuum and Hydro Excavation

| Excavation for installs of underground utilities is standard procedure in nearly every country. However, concealing these services is about much more than simply hiding unsightly lines. Undergrounding can cross waterways, reduce wildlife and aviation hazards, reduce unlawful utility usage, and shrink the service footprint. ... READ MORE

The Hydro Solution

| Excavation for installs of underground utilities is standard procedure in nearly every country. However, concealing these services is about much more than simply hiding unsightly lines. Undergrounding can cross waterways, reduce wildlife and aviation hazards, reduce unlawful utility usage, and shrink the service footprint. ... READ MORE

Armoring Against Erosion

| It’s easy to assume that with sophisticated computer simulations, wireless monitoring, and engineered materials, we’ve conquered water management, but a look into our past might just dampen this hubris. When it comes to erosion control, everything old (really is) new again. ... READ MORE

Trenchers and Bracing Systems That Improve Efficiency and Safety

| Kids building castles in the beach sand have something uniquely in common with contractors putting in sophisticated pipe networks or skyscraper foundations. Whether scraping out the dirt for King Arthur’s moat, or excavating for new municipal infrastructure, both require digging the trench and supporting that pit. The enterprising young engineers will have a sturdy hand shovel and a ready supply of popsicle sticks to shore up their protection from Saxon invaders, but today’s contractors can make quick work of both the hardest ground and awkward tight spots. From massive to mini-sized, the latest trenching machines, along with versatile shoring and trenching systems, make getting the job done faster, and safer and better than ever. ... READ MORE

Sea Rise

| When perspectives on sea level rise are considered, they might easily take on the glass-half-empty or glass-half-full analogy. For many, the glass is half empty and spells doom for thriving municipalities, helplessly sinking into the sea—reminiscent of the cinematic moment in which Charlton Heston finds the Statue of Liberty submerged on the extinct Manhattan shoreline, the outcome of unchecked human folly. ... READ MORE

Armoring for the Future

| It’s easy to assume that with sophisticated computer simulations, wireless monitoring, and engineered materials, we’ve conquered water management, but a look into our past might just dampen this hubris. When it comes to erosion control, everything old (really is) new again. ... READ MORE

Taming Slippery Slopes

| While skeptics may scoff, ardent followers believe a palm reader can examine your hand and reveal personal characteristics. But a visit to your local landfill (certainly a less mystical venture) is a revealing exercise of another kind that leaves little guesswork about your community. ... READ MORE

Down in the Trenches

| Kids building castles in the beach sand have something uniquely in common with contractors putting in sophisticated pipe networks or skyscraper foundations. Whether scraping out the dirt for King Arthur’s moat, or excavating for new municipal infrastructure, both require digging the trench and supporting that pit. The enterprising young engineers will have a sturdy hand shovel and a ready supply of popsicle sticks to shore up their protection from Saxon invaders, but today’s contractors can make quick work of both the hardest ground and awkward tight spots. From massive to mini-sized, the latest trenching machines, along with versatile shoring and trenching systems, make getting the job done faster, and safer and better than ever. ... READ MORE

Tire Technologies for Special Applications

| While local people in the Amazon rainforest were well aware of the "trees that dripped tears," rubber as we know it now, was so named because it was discovered to "rub out" pencil marks off paper. But it was not always the commodity it is today. European industrialists began exploring the commercial potential for the sticky product in the early 1800s, and it wasn't long before the Amazon rainforest was quickly exploited for their pursuits. ... READ MORE

Lighting Options for Night Time Work on Construction Sites

| Through his invention of the light bulb, Edison changed the world with a safer, brighter illumination. But it wasn’t long before incandescents—tungsten filament and gas-filled bulbs—surpassed the fragile carbons as the growing number of automobiles demanded better roads and better outdoor street lighting. ... READ MORE

Mitigating Mayhem

| As employment laws shortened the workday toward the end of the 19th century, the concept of “leisure time” arose. Spending time away from factories or offices to enjoy the outdoors, particularly the newly ­created systems of parks, gardens, trails, and green spaces—many designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—was advanced as a healthy pursuit for city dwellers. At around the same time, religious leaders founded the Chautauqua Institution in the remote and geographically beautiful regions of upstate New York, adopting the name of the nearby lake for their organization. Originally created for people to engage in intensive religious study and contemplation, the mission quickly expanded to include music, arts, cultural program offerings, and a forum to discuss relevant current issues and ethical questions. ... READ MORE

Looking Back—and Forward—in Biloxi

| On August 29, 2005, the wind along the Gulf Coast was blowing with unprecedented force; water levels from storm surge were rising to record levels. Hurricane Katrina swept through, causing damage on a scale that had not been seen there since 1969’s Hurricane Camille, three and a half decades earlier. New Orleans got the lion’s share of headlines; but the 50,000 Gulf residents of Biloxi, MS—a town once known as “the US Riviera”—would see the damage from a 30-foot storm surge change nearly all of their lives and their community forever. More than a decade later, though, it is a story with a happy ending. ... READ MORE

A Tale of Towering Power

| Through his invention of the light bulb, Edison changed the world with a safer, brighter illumination. But it wasn’t long before incandescents—tungsten filament and gas-filled bulbs—surpassed the fragile carbons as the growing number of automobiles demanded better roads and better outdoor street lighting. ... READ MORE

The Selection Process

| When municipalities face the demands of projects that are typically out of their scope of work, they turn to outside consultants to help them reach their objectives. These goals can span the range from enormously challenging, such as coping with natural disasters, to assistance in day-to-day administration, writing new ordinances, analyzing trash routes, and everything in between. ... READ MORE

Software and Mechanical Automation Innovations in Trash Collection

| Innovations seem to come at us at all corners, and at an ever-escalating pace—cell phones, new fuel cars, new efficient heating, and appliances that seem to do everything but feed your pets a balanced diet and mow your lawn remotely. The truth is, some gadgets actually do perform those functions. But those are the attention-getters ... READ MORE

Poultry Power

| After nearly a century, the creature-turned-commodity that transformed Maryland’s agricultural landscape—the humble chicken—is doing it once again. ... READ MORE

Trailers That Deliver

| It might be said that without trailers, literally nothing would get done. Although trailers have a pervasive presence in doing their job every day, it's easy to overlook their role as the hauling workhorse of manufacturing, the military, mining, construction, agriculture, and much more. In other words, if it needs to move from point A to point B and it doesn't fit in the back of your car or pickup, it's probably going on a trailer. ... READ MORE

Soil Solutions

| Engineered soil: it sounds like a new concept, but one historical record notes it is more than 1,000 years old. In the sixth century AD, a group of ascetic monks left the lush, green mainland of Ireland seeking a new, remote environment to practice their dedication and humility. Braving the North Sea, they landed on Skellig Michael, "bristling lava cliffs and wrinkled glaciers coming down to the sea," which could not have offered a more challenging opportunity for survival. Scoured by glaciers in earlier millennia, it was a punishing environment where little grew. The monks created arable soil by mixing sand and seaweed on the limestone karst, enabling them to grow vegetables. It worked, and the concept spread; the practice of mixing sand and seaweed to grow potatoes persisted through the 1700s. ... READ MORE

Methods to Handle Organic Waste: Compost and Kilowatts

| In 1915, a tragic farm accident reported in The Fruit Grower and Farmer was a mere footnote of local news. Patients from the State Hospital in Athens, OH, whose job was “to tramp down the silage comprised of corn stalks and leaves” were found asphyxiated in a tower silo. The report says “. . . the silage ... READ MORE

Solutions for Healthy Soil

| It's an entertaining and yet shocking pastime to read vintage advertisements. Today, we shake our heads in amazement at bygone celebrities who extol the relaxing and "digestive benefits" promised by smoking a particular brand of cigarette, at manufacturers who quaintly promote a children's "lead party" with their paint icons, and at a charming toddler whose bathing suit is pulled by an equally charming puppy revealing her tan, the benchmark of healthful sun worshipping for decades. ... READ MORE

Keep On Rolling

| While local people in the Amazon rainforest were well aware of the "trees that dripped tears," rubber as we know it now, was so named because it was discovered to "rub out" pencil marks off paper. But it was not always the commodity it is today. European industrialists began exploring the commercial potential for the sticky product in the early 1800s, and it wasn't long before the Amazon rainforest was quickly exploited for their pursuits. ... READ MORE

How Policy and Funding Changes May Impact Water Quality Programs

| Over the last few decades, the successes of regulations like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act have led to improvements in air and water quality. With recent changes in the political climate, and with some seeking to reduce regulations and cut funding sources, many groups are looking at how policy and funding changes might affect existing programs. ... READ MORE

New Converts to Compost and Kilowatts

| In 1915, a tragic farm accident reported in The Fruit Grower and Farmer was a mere footnote of local news. Patients from the State Hospital in Athens, OH, whose job was “to tramp down the silage comprised of corn stalks and leaves” were found asphyxiated in a tower silo. The report says “. . . the silage ... READ MORE

Agricultural Solutions

| Over the last few decades, the successes of regulations like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act have led to improvements in air and water quality. With recent changes in the political climate, and with some seeking to reduce regulations and cut funding sources, many groups are looking at how policy and funding changes might affect existing programs. ... READ MORE

Tools and Techniques to Find Underground Utilities

| Searching for underground utilities has been transformed from educated guesswork, to space-age perfection in the last few decades. But the fact that anything exists underground in the first place offers an interesting backstory. ... READ MORE

Underground Networks Revealed

| Searching for underground utilities has been transformed from educated guesswork, to space-age perfection in the last few decades. But the fact that anything exists underground in the first place offers an interesting backstory. ... READ MORE

Sea Rise

| When perspectives on sea level rise are considered they might easily take on the glass half-empty or glass half-filled analogy. For many, the glass is half empty and spells doom for thriving municipalities, helplessly sinking into the sea—reminiscent of the cinematic moment in which Charlton Heston finds the Statue of Liberty submerged on the Manhattan shoreline, the outcome of unchecked human folly. ... READ MORE

Managing for Drought

| The mania for a green lawn, or in some cases green anything, across many regions of the US has been quelled by recent droughts (thankfully now abating). Even long before water meters were spinning at record rates for golf resorts, private homes, and corporate campuses, scientists have been devising technologies that help protect, preserve, and ­promote soil and vegetation health. ... READ MORE

Stopping a Sinkhole to Save an Alabama Highway

| With flooding, sinkholes, danger, and suspense, this story may resemble the latest Hollywood adventure film. However, it is the real-life saga of a stormwater pipe collapse on Birmingham, AL's Highway 280 and a race against time along one of the state's busiest roadways. Its dramatic narrative rivals any blockbuster action film ... READ MORE

Getting a Grip on Sea Level Rise

| Climate change, sea level rise, failing infrastructure, and challenged ­budgets are a recipe for disaster in the truest sense. However, while the fact of sea level rise is scientifically undisputed, it is a slow-moving disaster. No one will wake up and find Miami or New York suddenly under water. Yet, it is because these are ... READ MORE

The Right Tool for the Right Job

| Almost everyone has had the experience where frustration with the inefficiency of a tool or machine prompts the request to the universe: "If only someone invented a tool that could do this better I'd be done by now." In heavy equipment when time is money this is especially true, but sometimes innovation is driven by a need more crucial than efficiency: safety. ... READ MORE

All About the Cycle Stop Valve (CSV)

| The cycle stop valve opens and closes like a ball valve—it uses a spring to push it open and then a diaphragm will push it closed. The beauty of this is that the customer sets the valve at the required outgoing pressure, and that’s where it stays. So, let’s say they want all the outgoing water at 50 pounds per square inch gauge, the valve responds to the amount of water being used—if it is more or less—by opening or closing in response to downstream pressure. This simple mechanism ensures that all outgoing water is exactly at 50 pounds per square inch gauge ... READ MORE

Invisible Tech

| Innovations seem to come at us at all corners, and at an ever-escalating pace—cell phones, new fuel cars, new efficient heating, and appliances that seem to do everything but feed your pets a balanced diet and mow your lawn remotely. The truth is, some gadgets actually do perform those functions. But those are the attention-getters ... READ MORE

Healthy Soils

| It's an entertaining and yet shocking pastime to read vintage advertisements. Today, we shake our heads in amazement at bygone celebrities who extol the relaxing and "digestive benefits" promised by smoking a particular brand of cigarette, at manufacturers who quaintly promote a children's "lead party" with their paint icons, and at a charming toddler whose bathing suit is pulled by an equally charming puppy revealing her tan, the benchmark of healthful sun worshipping for decades. ... READ MORE

Solutions for the Drainage Dilemma

| A quick perusal of once-popular English literature would show that the Victorians, and indeed a century of their predecessors, were eager to adopt any innovations to improve drainage. While most agrarian societies fought weather, taxes, and landlords to keep crops in the field, drainage for them and the estate managers was key to "turning profitless waste into land fit for tillage and pasture." On the other hand, crowded urban dwellers were repulsed by the lack of conveyance to remove standing water, rain, and sewage; the term drainage (and the lack of it) for them connoted entirely different circumstances. ... READ MORE

Improved Technology for Controlling “Fugitive Dust”

| Dust—it's everywhere, and seems to accumulate literally from thin air. It seems harmless but it is anything but that. Dramatic photos that captured the devastation of the central plains Dust Bowl of the Great Depression are compelling evidence of how dry, vulnerable soil, transported by wind, transforms the landscape. ... READ MORE

The Science of Seeds

| Remember how 10 blindfolded people in a room each describe the elephant from their own perspective? The same might be said of soil—the stuff we interchangeably refer to as ground, dirt, or surface covering. Eric C. Brevik, a professor of soil science at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, illustrates how soil by any other name is not just dirt. ... READ MORE

Wildfires: Challenges in Revegetation

| It was the setting for a perfect disaster: historic level droughts, acres of dry forest and grassland, huge reserves of dead wood fuel, and a hurricane that sucked any moisture from the air. Locals said it was just "powder-keg dry." Implementing a revegetation plan after a wildfire is a challenge; in this article we present case studies and actions communities implemented after devastating wildfires created a need to revegetate to prevent erosion. ... READ MORE

PCBs in Contaminated Sediments

| PCB sold in huge quantities around the world. Scientists continued to experiment and found the properties of the substance could be enhanced. With added carbon atoms and chlorine mass, PCB became a nearly waxy substance, ideal as an extender for pesticides to increase their adhesion when sprayed. And it lasts—resistant to processes of natural degradation—for a long time, cycling through air, water, and soil for decades. ... READ MORE

Managing Erosion in the Oil and Gas Industry

| The evolution of the oil and gas drilling industry in the US has all the essential components of a blockbuster adventure novel—colorful characters, challenging landscapes, spectacular discoveries, deals and dollars, and a lot of each of them. ... READ MORE

Getting a Grip on Sea Level Rise

| Climate change, sea level rise, failing infrastructure, and challenged ­budgets are a recipe for disaster in the truest sense. However, while the fact of sea level rise is scientifically undisputed, it is a slow-moving disaster. No one will wake up and find Miami or New York suddenly under water. ... READ MORE

From Titusville to Tycoons

| The evolution of the oil and gas drilling industry in the US has all the essential components of a blockbuster adventure novel—colorful characters, challenging landscapes, spectacular discoveries, deals and dollars, and a lot of each of them. ... READ MORE

Stopping a Sinkhole: A Case Study (Part 1)

| This article first appeared in the May 2016 issue of Water Efficiency. Read part 2 here.  Flooding, sinkholes, danger, suspense, a race against time, and Mother Nature—this story is not the latest adventure film served up by ­Hollywood, but it could be! In 2013, the real-life saga of the stormwater pipe collapse of ­Birmingham’s Highway 280, ... READ MORE

A Combination of Gray and Green to Tame Nature

| To be green or to be gray, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the municipality to suffer the floods and perils of our fickle Mother Nature, or to take precaution against the sea and tides… To protect, to evacuate no more . . . ... READ MORE

Getting a Grip on Sea Level Rise

| Climate change, sea level rise, failing infrastructure, and challenged budgets are a recipe for disaster in the truest sense. However, while the fact of sea level rise is scientifically undisputed, it is a slow moving disaster. No one will wake up and find Miami or New York suddenly under water. Yet, it is because these are slowly ... READ MORE

Revegetation After a Wildfire

| It was the setting for a perfect disaster: historic level droughts, acres of dry forest and grassland, huge reserves of dead wood fuel, and a hurricane that sucked any moisture from the air. Locals said it was just “powder-keg dry.” “All it needed was an ignition source,” recalls Daniel Lewis, staff forester with the La ... READ MORE

Protecting Storm Drain Inlets

| There's an old advertising saying: "You never see a piano ad unless you're in the market to buy a piano." And this might also be true of stormwater inlets. The ubiquitous receptacles are such a routine feature of streets and parking lots that they're virtually invisible. But, if you are a contractor breaking ground, a municipal stormwater manager, or a business owner with parking lots, these inlets that need protecting seem to be everywhere. And they all need protecting from trash, sediment, and chemical pollutants. ... READ MORE

Wildfires: Challenges in Revegetation

| It was the setting for a perfect disaster: historic level droughts, acres of dry forest and grassland, huge reserves of dead wood fuel, and a hurricane that sucked any moisture from the air. Locals said it was just “powder-keg dry.” “All it needed was an ignition source,” recalls Daniel Lewis, staff forester with the La ... READ MORE

The No-Name Floods of 2015

| In early October 2015, residents along the southern and mid-Atlantic East Coast of the US held their breath as reports on Hurricane Joaquin's gathering strength—but uncertain landfall destination—created mounting anxiety. ... READ MORE

The No-Name Floods of 2015

| In early October 2015, residents along the southern and mid-Atlantic East Coast of the US held their breath as reports on Hurricane Joaquin's gathering strength—but uncertain landfall destination—created mounting anxiety. ... READ MORE

Stopping a Sinkhole to Save an Alabama Highway

| With flooding, sinkholes, danger, and suspense, this story may resemble the latest Hollywood adventure film. However, it is the real-life saga of a stormwater pipe collapse on Birmingham, AL's Highway 280 and a race against time along one of the state's busiest roadways. Its dramatic narrative rivals any blockbuster action film ... READ MORE

Solving Dust and Erosion Problems

| Dust—it’s everywhere, and seems to accumulate literally from thin air. It seems harmless but it is anything but that. Dramatic photos that captured the devastation of the central plains Dust Bowl of the Great Depression are compelling evidence of how dry, vulnerable soil, transported by wind, transforms the landscape. While we have learned much about ... READ MORE

Polyurea Coatings: A Solution for Aging Water Tanks

| This Trial Project Launched a Brand For more than a decade spanning 1996–2006, Bostonians were subjected to endless traffic snarls during the massive “Big Dig”—that many say was “the most reported civil project in the world” as Massachusetts took Interstate’s 93 and 90 from above ground to 50 feet below ground, and under water. But the Big Dig, says CEO ... READ MORE

Stalking the Fugitive

| Dust—it's everywhere, and seems to accumulate literally from thin air. It seems harmless but it is anything but that. Dramatic photos that captured the devastation of the central plains Dust Bowl of the Great Depression are compelling evidence of how dry, vulnerable soil, transported by wind, transforms the landscape. ... READ MORE

Stopping a Sinkhole: Examining the Pipe (Part 2)

| Editor’s note: In part one of this three part series on Stopping a Sinkhole, we looked at how a sinkhole is formed and the first steps stormwater professionals took to assess the damage. In Part 2, we look at how the repair team assessed the scope of the repair project.  As future installments are published, ... READ MORE

More Benefits of the Cycle Stop Valve (CSV)

| While delivering constant pressure is the CSV’s primary job, its design offers users other benefits as well. The consistent delivery from the opening and closing mechanical valve eliminates the transient pressure waves, which Cary Austin, the inventor and owner of Cycle Stop Valves (CSV) headquartered in Lubbock, TX, says are created when a pump starts and stops and the jolting energy causes water hammer. “When things are in motion they want to stay in motion,” he explains. “These transient pressure waves travel from 3,000–8,000 feet per second, and a pressure tank tries to catch these waves after they happen; but, it’s too little too late and is something like trying to catch a bullet with your teeth. When these waves encounter tees or a 90 degree turn they don’t like it, and this can cause joints to break.” ... READ MORE

The PCB Challenge

| Throughout the 1800s, skies over European cities were dark with the smoke of burning coal. In Britain alone, dense populations, a shortage of wood, and new commerce derived from steam power "fueled" coal's use from 50 million tons in 1850 to 250 million tons by 1900. For rich and poor, the sulfurous, large black chunks of soft coal were a staple commodity and primary source of heat, energy, and industry. ... READ MORE

The PCB Challenge

| Throughout the 1800s, skies over European cities were dark with the smoke of burning coal. In Britain alone, dense populations, a shortage of wood, and new commerce derived from steam power "fueled" coal's use from 50 million tons in 1850 to 250 million tons by 1900. For rich and poor, the sulfurous, large black chunks of soft coal were a staple commodity and primary source of heat, energy, and industry. ... READ MORE

Aesthetics and Energy Efficiency

| Nearly a century ago, legislation enacted by President Woodrow Wilson founded a basic training facility for American soldiers preparing for World War I. Named Camp Benning, the post was located just outside the capital city of Columbus, GA. Following the Armistice, the post was renamed Fort Benning in 1922. But this was just the first ... READ MORE

Building a Bigger Wall

| While retaining wall technology has evolved, their primary function to hold back earth has changed little over the centuries. Innovations in modern engineering have made the traditional materials of stone, cement, and mortars combine with the latest products to perform near miracles. ... READ MORE

Building a Bigger Wall

| They’ve been around for thousands of years. They can shore up a backyard flowerbed or a 200-foot-high bridge trestle. They can be made by hand or require multistory cranes. They’re not very exciting dinner topics, but they are becoming pretty good looking, some say beautiful. What are these humble servants of engineering? They’re retaining walls, ... READ MORE

Aesthetics and Energy Efficiency

| Nearly a century ago, legislation enacted by President Woodrow Wilson founded a basic training facility for American soldiers preparing for World War I. Named Camp Benning, the post was located just outside the capital city of Columbus, GA. Following the Armistice, the post was renamed Fort Benning in 1922. But this was just the first ... READ MORE

Emergency Repairs

| Flooding, sinkholes, danger, suspense, a race against time, and Mother Nature—this story is not the latest adventure film served up by ­Hollywood, but it could be! In 2013, the real-life saga of the stormwater pipe collapse of ­Birmingham’s Highway 280, one of Alabama’s busiest roadways, has every element to rival an action blockbuster. ... READ MORE

California’s New Industrial Permit

| Few words may strike more anxiety in the hearts of business owners than "new industrial regulations." And in California's industrial sector, it is safe to say that anxiety is likely reaching new levels as businesses grapple with the fine print of the state's long-in-coming General Permit for Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity (IGP). ... READ MORE

Simplicity Under Pressure—The Valve That Delivers

| The warning saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," comes to mind when you are promised overnight weight loss and gimmicks that make you rich. But sometimes, an invention comes along that delivers what it promises so well that it really does seem "too good to be true." ... READ MORE

Pavers Prove Valuable in Stormwater Solutions

| Unanticipated Stormwater Surprise At Chuck’s Produce in Vancouver, WA, the family-owned grocery has a mission to provide fine specialty foods—many organically grown—with varieties catering to the most sophisticated epicurean and to the family dinner table. The store’s motto, “You never go wrong doing the right things,” translates to both the products and service indoors, and ... READ MORE

Curb Turn-Ins Direct Water to Trees

| Downtown Beautification Takes Off Located northeast of Indianapolis, Anderson is home to 55,000 residents and one very creative assistant stormwater manager named Jeremy VanErman, who says the project began with the mayor wanting to do some downtown beautification. “Because of our budget, we had to whittle this down to one street instead of two, and ... READ MORE

A Look at Today’s Pervious, Porous, and Permeable Pavers

| Sinking wheels, muddy feet, lame horses and livestock, trade goods ruined—these might have been just a few of the reasons why humans developed pavers thousands of years ago as an answer to a better surface. While the Romans come to mind as the first to build paver-based roads around 156 AD, they had adopted the ... READ MORE

Writing the Menu for the Chesapeake Bay “Pollution Diet”

| The largest estuary in North America is the Chesapeake Bay with its 8,000-mile shoreline and a whopping 64,000-square-mile watershed. Maryland and Virginia comprise the shoreline states, but the watershed extends to parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, all of the District of Columbia, and, incredibly, as far north as the Finger Lakes in New York state. ... READ MORE

Water Tower Refurbishment Part 2: High Tech Coatings Extend Tower Life

| In Part 1 of this story on water tower refurbishment, the author explored the steps Hooks, TX, took to prepare their water tower for refurbishment. Now, in Part 2, we’ll look at the application of high tech coatings to ensure a long service life for the water tower. Cleaning and Coating, Inside and Out The water tower refurbishment project was assigned ... READ MORE

Water Tower Refurbishment Part 1: Cycle-Stop Valve Sets the Stage

| In this first story on water tower refurbishment, the author covers the steps a town took to prepare the water tower for refurbishment and the considerations the town faced with the project.  In Part 2 of this article, we’ll look at the application of high tech coatings to ensure a long service life. What do you do ... READ MORE

Keeping Water Clean and Contained

| What to do you do when you're a one-water-tower town, struggling on a shoestring budget and a routine inspection by state officials hands you a report card of multiple, and expensive, repair violations. ... READ MORE

Popular & Permeable

| Sinking wheels, muddy feet, lame horses and livestock, trade goods ruined—these might have been just a few of the reasons why humans developed pavers thousands of years ago as an answer to a better surface. While the Romans come to mind as the first to build paver-based roads around 156 AD, they had adopted the process from the North African Carthaginians of Tunisia, where historians estimate pavers were already old news, in use for at least 500 years prior. In fact, many of these first stone paver roads can still be seen today. ... READ MORE

New Tools for Today’s Water Challenges

| Keeping an eye on the temperamental moods of Mother Nature has come a long way from the windsock, thermometer, and rain gauge. Today, engineers, researchers, and environmental managers have an array of equipment that might be dubbed the poster-children of multitasking: digital testing and monitoring tools that can be programmed for function, timing, and reporting, and test kits so simple a child can use them, have taken the place of everything old school. ... READ MORE

Protecting Florida’s Springs

| Florida—a state whose very name is powerfully evocative of stunning beaches with sugary white sands flanked by sparkling Gulf waters and majestic waves of the Atlantic; graceful towering palms, stylish art deco buildings trimmed in turquoise, coral, and the aptly named seafoam green; thriving groves of oranges and grapefruit and lush botanical settings flanking the ... READ MORE

Water Flows “Up Hills, Over Hills, and Toward Money”

| The word drought conjures up desperate images of brown fields and dry, cracked riverbeds; sagging, wilted crops; and farm families staring hopeless at a relentless scorching sun in a cloudless sky, praying for rain. Perhaps it is ironic that these graphic scenes, depicted by Hollywood in films like The Rainmaker and The Grapes of Wrath, are now an all-too-real scenario in its own backyard. ... READ MORE

Water Flows “Up Hills, Over Hills, and Toward Money”

| The word drought conjures up desperate images of brown fields and dry, cracked riverbeds; sagging, wilted crops; and farm families staring hopeless at a relentless scorching sun in a cloudless sky, praying for rain. Perhaps it is ironic that these graphic scenes, depicted by Hollywood in films like The Rainmaker and The Grapes of Wrath , are now an all-too-real scenario in its own backyard. Today, in the Golden State water shortage, the cost of water and everything water-related i... ... READ MORE

Doctoring Lake Erie

| Every five years, scientists from two countries, the US and Canada, engage in a six-month-long effort to take “terabytes of sampling data” from Lake Erie. With a total water surface of just under 10,000 miles and an 871-mile shoreline, it is the 11th largest lake in the world. Gail Hesse, director of the Ohio Lake ... READ MORE

Doctoring Lake Erie

| Every five years, scientists from two countries, the US and Canada, engage in a six-month-long effort to take "terabytes of sampling data" from Lake Erie. With a total water surface of just under 10,000 miles and an 871-mile shoreline, it is the 11th largest lake in the world. Gail Hesse, director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC), describes the 2014 Intensive Review of Lake Erie as "a binational intensive monitoring and assessment program" involving US and Canadian federal,... ... READ MORE

Restoring the World’s Largest Freshwater System

| When Mother Nature decided enough was enough and signaled an end to the last Ice Age, the huge glacier blanketing what is now Ontario, Canada, with ice nearly 4 1/2 miles thick, began to melt. As the ice retreated to the north it left deep depressions in the land, which began to fill with water from the melting ice, forming the five lakes we know as Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Considered youngsters at only 10,000 years of age, the Great Lakes continued their form... ... READ MORE

Technology and Innovation

| Unlike the vast majority of people on the globe, we take water for granted and expect clean, safe, and virtually unlimited quantities to meet our cooking, bathing, washing, and irrigating needs. While our long history of public water delivery may explain our attitude of entitlement to water, the realities of climate change, persistent and frequent drought, and failing infrastructures are exerting an uncomfortable awareness that the free ride of this natural resource is about over.... ... READ MORE

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