About the Author

 

Margaret Buranen

Articles by Margaret Buranen

Erosion Control for Construction Projects

| Every type of construction project—building, road, bridge—involves erosion control. As soon as removal of an existing structure starts or a shovel turns over grass to expose the soil beneath, the need for erosion control begins. ... READ MORE

Street Sweeping—Cleaner Air, Clearer Water

| Plaquemine, LA, is located about 18 miles west of Baton Rouge. The city has a population of about 8,000. Plaquemine’s director of Public Works, Richard Alleman, directs the city’s street sweeping operation. ... READ MORE

Improving Water Quality With Mowers

| Mowers are, literally and figuratively, the cutting edge for managing vegetation. And with new technologies and designs, they offer solutions that are also cost-effective. ... READ MORE

Every Job and Every Day Are Different

| The hydroseeding machine and the crew may be the same as last month or last year, but every job is different. Each project has its own variables—tricky slopes, tight timelines, rain that just won’t quit, and more. Finding the right combination of seeds, mulch, and other ingredients so that soil stays intact and vegetation flourishes keeps the work interesting and challenging. ... READ MORE

Mowing for Water Quality

| Mowers are, literally and figuratively, the cutting edge for managing vegetation. And with new technologies and designs, they offer solutions that are also cost-effective. ... READ MORE

Working With Cofferdams and Turbidity Curtains

| Cofferdams and turbidity curtains may be neither high tech in performance nor especially exciting in appearance. If they’re made carefully and function the way they are supposed to, they seem, in fact, rather routine. But the work that they make possible is far from routine. They make possible high-tech projects in energy, construction, and other fields. They protect endangered flora and fauna and help companies stay in compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations. ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding—Going Green Fast

| The job specifications called for rolled erosion control products. But there had been lots of rain, with more forecast. The predicted weather allowed only one day for doing the job. And at the bottom of the steep slope was a creek. Any sediment that got into that creek would pollute the water supply of the downstream town. ... READ MORE

Essentials for Working in Water

| Cofferdams and turbidity curtains may be neither high tech in performance nor especially exciting in appearance. If they’re made carefully and function the way they are supposed to, they seem, in fact, rather routine. But the work that they make possible is far from routine. They make possible high-tech projects in energy, construction, and other fields. They protect endangered flora and fauna and help companies stay in compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations. ... READ MORE

Controlling Flooding in the Desert

| The most common image of Las Vegas is probably that of its Strip of hotels and casinos. They are the reason the city is known as “The Entertainment Capital of the World.” ... READ MORE

Controlling Flooding in the Desert

| The most common image of Las Vegas is probably that of its Strip of hotels and casinos. They are the reason the city is known as “The Entertainment Capital of the World.” ... READ MORE

Fast Green

| The job specifications called for rolled erosion control products. But there had been lots of rain, with more forecast. The predicted weather allowed only one day for doing the job. And at the bottom of the steep slope was a creek. Any sediment that got into that creek would pollute the water supply of the downstream town. ... READ MORE

Keeping the Water Contained

| Cofferdams in one form or another have been around for quite some time. Of course, centuries ago, they were not made of vinyl or geosynthetic materials. In 539 BC, King Cyrus of Persia used earthen cofferdams to divert the Euphrates River temporarily. By using this tactic, his armies were able to capture the city of Babylon and expand the territory he ruled. ... READ MORE

Street Sweeping—Cleaner Air, Clearer Water

| Plaquemine, LA, is located about 18 miles west of Baton Rouge. The city has a population of about 8,000. Plaquemine’s director of Public Works, Richard Alleman, directs the city’s street sweeping operation. ... READ MORE

St. Louis Sings the Blues

| St. Louis has been singing the blues for some time—not only musically, but also over stormwater. The city has had combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into the Mississippi River and backed up basement drains in the neighborhoods closest to the river along the city’s eastern edge, causing flooding and pollution ... READ MORE

Keeping Soil Onsite

| Every type of construction project—building, road, bridge—involves erosion control. As soon as removal of an existing structure starts or a shovel turns over grass to expose the soil beneath, the need for erosion control begins. ... READ MORE

Protecting Coastal Waters

| San Diego, CA, is a city with scenic coastlines along the Pacific Ocean, a world-class zoo, a long association with the US Navy, a growing population and economy, and a lively tourism industry. Managing stormwater in this beautiful city involves dealing with a myriad of challenges. ... READ MORE

Retaining Walls—Beauty With Purpose

| Retaining walls vary tremendously in design and setting, but they all share a functional purpose. A well-designed retaining wall can enhance the appearance of a site, but if it doesn't stabilize the earth and last, it's not a success. Retaining walls in the following projects add value to their sites and are serving their purpose. ... READ MORE

Beauty With Purpose

| Retaining walls vary tremendously in design and setting, but they all share a functional purpose. A well-designed retaining wall can enhance the appearance of a site, but if it doesn't stabilize the earth and last, it's not a success. Retaining walls in the following projects add value to their sites and are serving their purpose. ... READ MORE

Protecting Puget Sound

| A common purpose runs through many, likely most, stormwater projects in the greater Seattle area and other western Washington cities, certainly in the projects profiled in this story. ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding for Transportation Projects

| Hydroseeding has connections with most forms of transportation, including revegetation around highways, airports, and mass transit projects. It is even a part of water-related travel, if one considers work done on the grounds at marinas, shipping channels, and ports. ... READ MORE

Strengthening Shorelines With Hard Armor

| Perhaps the slopes are too steep. Perhaps the current is too strong. Perhaps both, and maybe some other challenging site conditions exist as well. Some projects along bodies of water require extra-strong measures to stop erosion. One of those projects is in Idaho. ... READ MORE

Strengthening Shorelines With Hard Armor

| Perhaps the slopes are too steep. Perhaps the current is too strong. Perhaps both, and maybe some other challenging site conditions exist as well. Some projects along bodies of water require extra-strong measures to stop erosion. One of those projects is in Idaho. ... READ MORE

How to Control Sediment Erosion on Construction Sites

| Work on the average construction site disrupts many cubic yards of dirt. All of that disrupted soil poses a big sediment control challenge. Given the unpredictability of storms and rainfall, controlling sediment requires vigilance. It also adds to the cost of construction projects. But if sedimentation is not controlled, the cost is even higher: potential fines from state and federal regulatory agencies and damage to the environment. ... READ MORE

Case Studies in Dust Control

| Air quality is essential for the environment and for the people and animals who breathe that air. A big part of ensuring that the air is of high quality is keeping it free of dust. ... READ MORE

Keeping Water Quality High

| Snowy plovers are dainty little shorebirds, waders that scurry along beaches on legs that look like twigs. The timid plovers have white underbodies with brown feathers on top. The brown markings around their faces give them a quizzical look, somewhat like owls. ... READ MORE

Good Housekeeping

| The Firestone Grand Prix consists of races featuring open-wheel IndyCars, with each race staged in a different American city. Most of the races are run on tracks, but a few of the courses are on city streets. ... READ MORE

Programs to Protect and Restore Eroding Shorelines

| Rising sea levels in many locations add power to a storm's negative punch. And when storm surges race many miles inland—as they did after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast—then coastal erosion is magnified. ... READ MORE

Lines of Defense

| Work on the average construction site disrupts many cubic yards of dirt. All of that disrupted soil poses a big sediment control challenge. Given the unpredictability of storms and rainfall, controlling sediment requires vigilance. It also adds to the cost of construction projects. But if sedimentation is not controlled, the cost is even higher: potential fines from state and federal regulatory agencies and damage to the environment. ... READ MORE

Geogrids for Stabilizing Steep Slopes

| The steep slopes and compressible soils caused concern that the road might, sometime in the future, shift and even crack if precast concrete panel retaining walls were used. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials suggested that 1:1 slope reinforcement with geogrid be used instead. ... READ MORE

In Hydroseeding, Weather Matters (A Lot)

| Weather can be a hydroseeding contractor's friend or foe. It can make a job much easier or much more difficult. It played a role in each of the following varied projects done by leading hydroseeding companies across the country. ... READ MORE

Four Cases Where Cofferdams Work

| Sometimes a project requires keeping sediment out of clean water that needs to remain free-flowing. Sometimes it's not the sediment that has to be held back, but the water itself, so that work can be done in the temporarily dry space. ... READ MORE

Parting the Waters

| Sometimes a project requires keeping sediment out of clean water that needs to remain free-flowing. Sometimes it's not the sediment that has to be held back, but the water itself, so that work can be done in the temporarily dry space. ... READ MORE

Permeable Pavers for Erosion Control Projects

| The next RSF installation of permeable pavers, in the summer of 2011, included 1,400 linear feet on the campus road and 3,000 square feet at the plaza. The third RSF installation, during summer 2012, involved 350 linear feet on the campus road and 9,000 square feet on the plaza. ... READ MORE

Growing Pains

| Known for its involvement with banking and auto racing, Charlotte is one of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the US. The city's 2014 estimated population is nearly 810,000. ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding Makes Transportation Projects Move

| Hydroseeding has connections with most forms of transportation, including revegetation around highways, airports, and mass transit projects. It is even a part of water-related travel, if one considers work done on the grounds at marinas, shipping channels, and ports. ... READ MORE

Tampa Tackles Flooding

| Located on the western coast of Florida, Tampa is situated between two bodies of water: Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay. They flow together to form Tampa Bay, which joins the Gulf of Mexico. ... READ MORE

Stopping Erosion Flat Out

| Twenty years ago my brother and I started out as small excavating and general contractors,” says Chauncey Webster, president of East Coast Green Inc., in St. Thomas, PA. “Gradually we leaned more and more toward erosion control work.” ... READ MORE

Retaining Wall Blocks Show Advantages Over Cast-in-Place Walls

| Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the June 2015 edition of Erosion Control. Houston Zoo features retaining wall blocks are strong enough to withstand a gorilla. Just as the citizens of San Juan Capistrano, CA, eagerly await the annual return of the swallows, residents of Houston, TX, have been anxious for gorillas to be back at ... READ MORE

Moving Toward Green in Omaha

| As Kermit the Frog is known for singing, sometimes it's not easy being green. And sometimes it isn't easy being—or implementing—green or gray infrastructure, at least when it comes to managing stormwater on a budget and under challenging conditions, such as those found in Omaha, NE. ... READ MORE

Controlling Sediment Through Perimeter Containment

| Work on the average construction site disrupts many cubic yards of dirt. All of that disrupted soil poses a big sediment control challenge. Given the unpredictability of storms and rainfall, controlling sediment requires vigilance. It also adds to the cost of construction projects. But if sedimentation is not controlled, the cost is even higher: potential fines from state and federal regulatory agencies and damage to the environment. ... READ MORE

Street Sweepers Keep Stormwater Cleaner

| Keeping a city’s streets, storm sewers, and catch basins clean is an essential service for its residents, even though they might not pay much attention to the work as it occurs. Cleaner air and water are the result—proven by numerous studies—and that’s important to every person within a community. San Diego, CA, has 75,000 storm ... READ MORE

Controlling Sediment Through Perimeter Containment

| Work on the average construction site disrupts many cubic yards of dirt. All of that disrupted soil poses a big sediment control challenge. Given the unpredictability of storms and rainfall, controlling sediment requires vigilance. It also adds to the cost of construction projects. But if sedimentation is not controlled, the cost is even higher: potential fines from state and federal regulatory agencies and damage to the environment. ... READ MORE

A Better Plan to Manage Stormwater

| The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approved StormChambers for One Loudoun, a large mixed-use development in Ashburn, Loudoun County, VA. It was one of the first applications where VDOT runoff water—combined with private runoff water—went to this type of system, notes Steve Pandish, director of water resources for the engineering firm of William H. Gordon Associates in Chantilly, VA. ... READ MORE

Street Sweeping With the Best

| "We run our sweepers every day of the week except the weekend, for nine to nine-and-a-half months of the year—even some days of December when the weather is mild. We don't put water in the tank when it might freeze," says Dale Chumley, chief of stormwater for the city of Lafayette, IN. ... READ MORE

Coastal Concerns

| The storm forces of rain and wind, to say nothing of tidal ebbs and flows, pose special problems in controlling erosion along coastlines. All of these forces affect the surrounding area—beaches, roads, bridges, homes, and other buildings—as well. ... READ MORE

Madison, Wisconsin: Capital Stormwater Management

| Two entities are the major players for stormwater projects—green and gray—in Madison. One of those players is the city itself, which as of 2014 had a population more than 245,000. The other is the University of Wisconsin's (UW's) main branch. Its flagship campus of the UW system covers 936 acres in Madison. ... READ MORE

Denver Models Good Stormwater Management

| Stormwater runoff in Denver, CO, flows to two entities: Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. Maintaining and improving water quality in the city's two main bodies of water is critical to Denver's present and future. ... READ MORE

Green Infrastructure for Sudden Heavy Rains

| Nashville, TN, has a watershed of 311,212 acres. Annual rainfall is 48.5 inches. But those figures don’t mean much if what ­happened in Nashville on May 1–2, 2010—or something close to it—happens again. That Saturday, 6.3 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period. Over 12 hours on Sunday, the city received another 7.2 inches ... READ MORE

Keeping Water Quality High

| Snowy plovers are dainty little shorebirds, waders that scurry along beaches on legs that look like twigs. The timid plovers have white underbodies with brown feathers on top. The brown markings around their faces give them a quizzical look, somewhat like owls. ... READ MORE

Green Infrastructure Helps Coastal Wetlands

| In coastal North Carolina, stormwater managers are looking to green infrastructure to solve stormwater problems.  One successful green infrastructure project in Wilmington is the Wade Park Wetland. It was a $4 million joint project by the city of Wilmington, New Hanover County, and the state of North Carolina. The 17-acre park is on the site ... READ MORE

When to Use Native Plants in Erosion Control Projects

| Julie Etra’s approach to the erosion control work her company does is simple to describe. It isn’t always easy to accomplish, though. “You shouldn’t know we were ever there. [The work is] so good that it matches what was there before,” explains Etra. Making a newly established section of ground match an existing part of ... READ MORE

Bank Erosion Control Techniques for Improved Stream Quality

| Located in Cass County, the town of Lake Shore, MN, has a year-round population of about 1,400. Lake Shore is a magnet, though, for visitors seeking summer recreation on the water, because the town is close to several lakes. Lake Shore also has Fritz Loven Park. The park’s 80 acres of land were acquired by ... READ MORE

Denver Models Good Stormwater Management

| Stormwater runoff in Denver, CO, flows to two entities: Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. Maintaining and improving water quality in the city's two main bodies of water is critical to Denver's present and future. ... READ MORE

How to Clean Up a Superfund Site

| Some years after the American Creosote plant in Louisville, MS, closed, residents grew concerned about the quality of their drinking water supply. Investigation revealed that erosion was allowing contaminants to seep through the soil. EPA ordered a Superfund cleanup of the land. Damian McKay’s company, Green Way Erosion Control, of Wiggins, MS, has been doing ... READ MORE

Innovative Retaining Wall Design

| When is a retaining wall more than a retaining wall? When the retaining wall design both retains earth and serves as a sport rock climbing wall, as is the case at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. Lynchburg College’s dual-purpose wall came into being as part of the $12 million renovation and expansion of the school’s ... READ MORE

In Hydroseeding, Weather Matters (A Lot)

| Weather can be a hydroseeding contractor’s friend or foe. It can make a job much easier or much more difficult. It played a role in each of the following varied projects done by leading hydroseeding companies across the country. The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex near Pittsburgh, PA, is the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins professional ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding Means Variety

| Hydroseeding work, like all outdoor jobs, can have some unpleasant aspects. The weather can be perfect and then turn miserably cold or blisteringly hot. Working in the back country, far off road, increases the chances of encountering mountain lions, rattlesnakes, or other creatures best avoided. And if it's hot and humid, the mosquitoes are almost certain to show up. One of the advantages of hydroseeding work, though, is the variety of projects it offers. The clients, terrain, surrou... ... READ MORE

Permeable Pavers for Erosion & Stormwater Control Projects

| Energy consumption and the wise use of water and other natural resources is taken seriously at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. Of the seven LEED-certified buildings at NREL, six qualified for the LEED Platinum rating. Each building on the NREL campus was designed to be energy efficient ... READ MORE

Paving Stormwater Away

| One way to grow any type of business is to offer another service. One way for erosion control specialists to find additional services to offer is to look at the work of civil engineers, landscape architects, and other specialists who manage stormwater. Stormwater runoff causes, or at least accelerates, erosion. Stopping that runoff or slowing ... READ MORE

In Tune With Green Infrastructure

| Nashville, TN, has a watershed of 311,212 acres. Annual rainfall is 48.5 inches. But those figures don't mean much if what ­happened in Nashville on May 1–2, 2010—or something close to it—happens again. ... READ MORE

Keeping Soil in Place

| Julie Etra's approach to the erosion control work her company does is simple to describe. It isn't always easy to accomplish, though. ... READ MORE

Stormwater Management in Coastal North Carolina

| "There are three reasons for us to do a stormwater project. One is to fix a flooding problem. Nine out of ten citizens would say this is the main reason. Two is to improve water quality," says Dave Mayes, Stormwater Services Division manager for the city of Wilmington, NC. ... READ MORE

Smooth Liner Speeds Stadium Transitions

| When Houston’s Reliant Stadium was constructed, it had the NFL’s first retractable roof, first removable turf field, and the largest seating capacity in the league. The stadium was built to serve two major occupants: the Houston Texans professional football league and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. These two occupants presented an immediate design problem: ... READ MORE

Zoos Use Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater

| Increasingly, zoos in America are using green infrastructure to manage their stormwater, and they’re doing so in a variety of creative and innovative ways. This practice shouldn’t be surprising, given the mission of zoos and their natural interest in safeguarding the environment. “We have a duty and an opportunity to take these things and educate ... READ MORE

Canal Case Study: Geocomposite Liners

| The Snake River Valley of eastern Idaho didn’t become an agricultural center until well after the Civil War. The Homestead Act, which became US law in 1862, brought settlers determined to farm to the area. The Homestead Act allowed any citizen of the US who was the head of the family or over 21 years ... READ MORE

Bearing Down on Stormwater

| Increasingly, zoos in America are using green infrastructure to manage their stormwater, and they're doing so in a variety of creative and innovative ways. This practice shouldn't be surprising, given the mission of zoos and their natural interest in safeguarding the environment. ... READ MORE

Geosynthetics: Many Products, Many Uses

| The Snake River Valley of eastern Idaho didn't become an agricultural center until well after the Civil War. The Homestead Act, which became US law in 1862, brought settlers determined to farm to the area. ... READ MORE

Keeping Playgrounds Safe With Improved Drainage

| Improving the Playground Poor drainage near playground areas can quickly result in problems for the children who want to play there. Standing water draws mosquitoes, and muddy areas are unsightly and sometimes unsafe. Setex Construction Company of Beaumont, TX, won the contracts to install sidewalks near the playgrounds in three city parks. The projects’ architect, ... READ MORE

Airport Flood Control Considerations

| Think of flood control and the image of a raging river may come to mind. But small floods—from creeks overflowing their banks or urban stormwater runoff in areas that don’t have adequate drainage—also cause problems. Fortunately, there are some effective products that deliver the solutions needed to prevent or control flooding. Bellingham Airport Some people ... READ MORE

The Streetscapes of San Francisco

| To claim that San Francisco has some catching up to do to manage its stormwater "is fair," says Karen Kubick, director of Wastewater Capital Improvement for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) ... READ MORE

Water Quality Improves With Street Sweeping

| Keeping a city’s streets, storm sewers, and catch basins clean is an essential service for its residents, even though they might not pay much attention to the work as it occurs. Cleaner air and water are the result—proven by numerous studies—and that’s important to every person within a community. ... READ MORE

Catch Basin Cleaning: Depends on the Zone

| Kings Mountain, NC In cities where stormwater regularly floods streets, regular catch basin cleaning can keep water and contaminants off streets. The city of Kings Mountain, NC, has a strong connection to American history. It is named for the American Revolutionary War battle that was fought a mere 5 miles away—just over the present South ... READ MORE

Control Flooding, Curb Erosion

| Think of flood control and the image of a raging river may come to mind. But small floods—from creeks overflowing their banks or urban stormwater runoff in areas that don't have adequate drainage—also cause problems. Fortunately, there are some effective products that deliver the solutions needed to prevent or control flooding. ... READ MORE

Retaining Wall Materials to Enhance Form and Function

| Limestone in Austin When choosing retaining wall materials, several factors should be considered.  Matching the color and texture of the retaining wall materials to what’s naturally found in the area helps integrate the wall into the geography.  Retaining wall materials that blend in with the local environment look more natural and enhance community aesthetic value. Natural ... READ MORE

Clean Streets, Clean Cities

| Keeping a city's streets, storm sewers, and catch basins clean is an essential service for its residents, even though they might not pay much attention to the work as it occurs. Cleaner air and water are the result—proven by numerous studies—and that's important to every person within a community. ... READ MORE

A Wall for All Seasons

| When is a retaining wall more than a retaining wall? When it both retains earth and serves as a sport rock climbing wall, as is the case at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. ... READ MORE

How a Cultural Trail Became a Stormwater Management Project

| Author Margaret Buranen discusses how Indianapolis’ “Cultural Trail” became a showcase for stormwater management in Part 3 of this continuing series. Through the effective applications of such runoff control methods as stormwater planters as well as other innovative rainwater solutions, the trail has become a remarkable example of stormwater management as well as usable green infrastructure. See full details of this project’s design elements in the segment below. ... READ MORE

Planning Ahead in Austin

| Austin, TX, has some of the most innovative stormwater management projects that feature green infrastructure. Some of these projects are municipal, some are private, and some resulted from combined partnerships. ... READ MORE

Rainwater Harvesting Methods Manage Stormwater

| In Part 2 of this continuing series, author Margaret Buranen continues to showcase how the Indianapolis Nature Conservancy’s headquarters proactively uses rainwater harvesting through site-based applications and approaches to rainwater filtration. ... READ MORE

Green Infrastructure Solutions for Stormwater Management

| Best practices in stormwater management are demonstrated by the City of Indianapolis, where runoff volume is reduced through multiple solutions applied to both gray and green infrastructure. In Part 1 of this continuing series, author Margaret Buranen introduces the multiple challenges faced in an effort to reduce the volume of rainwater and snowmelt runoff to ... READ MORE

Green Roofs and Living Walls

| Green walls are designed for either interior or exterior areas. They are installed in building interiors mainly to improve the air quality and aesthetics. Microsoft and Twitter are two examples of corporations that have interior green walls at their headquarters. ... READ MORE

Three Reasons for Stormwater Projects

| “There are three reasons for us to do a stormwater project. One is to fix a flooding problem. Nine out of ten citizens would say this is the main reason. Two is to improve water quality,” says Dave Mayes, Stormwater Services Division manager for the city of Wilmington, NC. “Three, we have a disjointed system. ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding Successes

| Sam Howard and his crew at Central Carolina Seeding in Winston-Salem, NC, have been doing hydroseeding work on a highway project near Blowing Rock, NC. Their work —done in stages—started in 2012 and will finish in the fall of 2015. ... READ MORE

Banking on Stability

| Crow Wing County, MN, is located within a recreation area known as the “Region of Thousand Lakes” or “Brainerd Lakes Region.” This central Minnesota county is a popular location for boating in the summer and ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter. ... READ MORE

Green Roofs and Living Walls

| Green walls are designed for either interior or exterior areas. They are installed in building interiors mainly to improve the air quality and aesthetics. Microsoft and Twitter are two examples of corporations that have interior green walls at their headquarters. Interior green walls range from about 25 square feet to significantly larger. Drexel University in Philadelphia has what is probably the largest interior green wall at a university. Located in the atrium of the Integrated Sc... ... READ MORE

Hydroseeding Successes

| Sam Howard and his crew at Central Carolina Seeding in Winston-Salem, NC, have been doing hydroseeding work on a highway project near Blowing Rock, NC. Their work -done in stages-started in 2012 and will finish in the fall of 2015. "It's a beautiful area, with pretty steep terrain," says Howard of the mountainous location, which is a popular destination for vacations and weekend getaways. The overall project involves widening existing North Carolina Highway 321 to four lanes and stra... ... READ MORE

Banking on Stability

| Crow Wing County, MN, is located within a recreation area known as the "Region of Thousand Lakes" or "Brainerd Lakes Region." This central Minnesota county is a popular location for boating in the summer and ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter.  More than 400 lakes in the county draw visitors year round. The fifth largest, Bay Lake, covers more than 2,300 acres and has 19 miles of shoreline. Keeping the county's roads safe for both visitors and residents is a priority for... ... READ MORE

Taking Runoff Off the Table

| Remember the song with the line about little green apples and rain in Indianapolis in the summertime? Of course Indianapolis gets rain during the other three seasons, too, for an average annual rainfall of 42.4 inches. That's a fair amount of stormwater to manage. Indianapolis also has runoff from melting snow and a combined sewer system (CSS) with its share of overflows to complicate things. Like Atlanta, Cleveland, Portland, and other cities, the city is using both gray and green i... ... READ MORE

Getting Tough on Turbidity

| Meeting federal antipollution requirements to ensure clean water has become a routine part of erosion control work. For projects that take place around waterways, that often means the use of turbidity curtains or coffer dams. In business since 2005, Tampa Bay Marine in Riverview, FL, specializes in the installation and repair of commercial and residential structures in or near water. Docks, boat ramps, boat lifts, retaining walls, and sea walls are among the company's most common pro... ... READ MORE

The Greening of Buffalo

| Buffalo, NY, became an industrial city early because of a major advantage: its proximity to water. Specifically, that water is from the Buffalo and Niagara rivers, Lake Erie, and the Erie Canal. Midwest grain traveled across Lake Erie to be milled in Buffalo, to feed residents of the eastern US. In fact, the large industrial grain elevators were developed in Buffalo. Republic Steel helped build surrounding Buffalo and countless buildings in other cities across the US. As Buffalo beca... ... READ MORE

Stabilizing With Seed

| As the following projects show, hydroseeding work varies tremendously. A project might take place in a residential yard or extend for hundreds of acres. It might be along a road where drivers barely notice it, or it might add to the beauty of a natural area that thousands of visitors appreciate each year. Mission Reach Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project is a $245 million effort taking place along 8 miles of the southern portion of the San Antonio River in San ... ... READ MORE

Industrial Sites Go Green to Manage Stormwater

| Industrial sites have been slow to install green infrastructure. Years ago it didn't have the track record of success that it has now. Industrial sites often have confined spaces or impervious areas that would have to be removed, adding extra cost. But industrial sites and green infrastructure can be a cost-effective and efficient combination, as the following projects have proven. TOTE Terminal The Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) terminal at the Port of Tacoma, WA, is a pioneer i... ... READ MORE

Making Rain Gardens Work

| By Margaret Buranen Time is the test that reveals how well a rain garden is working. Time tells whether the rain garden's design and construction are as effective as they were projected to be. Portland, OR, has a number of rain gardens that meet the test of time, including the one at Glencoe Elementary School.          "We certainly spent a good amount of time designing it--but even with all the preparation you don't know exactly how it will turn out," says Ti... ... READ MORE

Cleaner Streets

| Street sweeping is such a basic task performed by municipalities and other governmental agencies that it can be taken for granted by local residents. It is, after all, simple enough for a child to watch and understand. That simplicity can obscure its importance in reducing pollution in stormwater runoff and improving the quality of a community's water supply. Street sweeping by its name suggests a maintenance activity performed in cities and towns, in areas where there is lots of veh... ... READ MORE

Ann Arbor’s Stormwater Program

| Located approximately 45 miles from Detroit, MI, Ann Arbor receives about 35 inches of precipitation per year. Much of this precipitation falls in the spring, followed by periods of extreme heat and minimal rain in the summer. Ann Arbor contains several creeksheds that are tributaries of the Huron River: Traver, Malletts, Millers, Honey, Swift Run, and Flemming. Together, these creeksheds comprise part of the Huron River watershed. The Huron River runs for 136 miles and drains an are... ... READ MORE

The Natural Touch

| Increasing federal, state, and local regulations require that erosion control work must be done in a way that protects the environment. Using erosion control products made of natural materials can help achieve that goal, as the following projects show. When Matt Kerkhof of Hoosier Aquatic Management first saw the 15-acre pond at Springmill Ponds subdivision in Carmel, IN, he knew that he could stop the erosion and make the site look and function much better. "The shoreline of the pon... ... READ MORE

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