Summary of ASCE Stormwater Manufactured Treatment Devices Certification Guidelines

| With the advent of EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and subsequent total maximum daily load (TMDL) permits, many local, state, and industrial entities are obligated to treat stormwater runoff before discharging to receiving waters. Common treatment methods such as retention ponds, detention ponds, and wetlands can achieve economies of scale where land is available for large best management practices (BMPs). ... READ MORE

Sweeping Their Way to Clean Water

| In 2013, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) in Idaho received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I permit. The shared permit authorizes stormwater discharge for the cities of Boise and Garden City. ... 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

Managing Trash and Contaminants With Screens and Storage

| Every year, Heal the Bay, a nonprofit advocating for coastal water quality in the Los Angeles region, lists all the beaches in Los Angeles County and grades them based on visual experiences, the quality of the water, the quality of the beach, and its cleanliness. Each year the annual report lists some of those beaches on its Beach Bummer List—a compendium of the dirtiest, least desirable, and most inhospitable attractions on the Los Angeles coastline. For several years, the beach surrounding Santa Monica Pier, a recreational attraction that hosts over 6 million visitors every year, has had the dubious distinction of holding a prominent position on that list. “Many factors contribute to that,” says Selim Eren, an engineer with the city of Santa Monica. “Having restaurants on the pier and having an open timber structure and a dark and moist environment under the pier doesn’t help, overall, the situation there.” ... READ MORE

Why Presenting “Just the Facts” Fails

| It was only a few seconds, but to Randy it seemed like it took an hour to reach the front of the community room. He was numbed by the audience’s animosity—many had come solely out of curiosity, but others seemed to harbor a personal vendetta. As he approached, he saw his team of experts—hired consultants—already in place flanking the podium. ... READ MORE

The Many Faces of Permeable Pavers

| The world of permeable pavers is multifaceted. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be placed in a wide range of configurations to match tastes, function, or budgets. They can play a central role in meeting a wide variety of water-quality improvement goals. Projects employing permeable pavers are as varied as the capabilities of the technology, ranging from roadways to schoolyards to footpaths or platforms. While engineers rely on them to perform two central functions—supporting whatever traffic they are expected to bear and allowing water to infiltrate beneath the surface—they can do much more. Whatever the duty permeable pavers are called upon to perform, they can take it on with grace and style. ... READ MORE

Pennies From Heaven

| Residents of Toledo, OH, have always seen water as a very important asset, says Patekka Bannister, commissioner of plant operations and chief of water resources for the Toledo Department of Public Utilities. There is water everywhere you look in Toledo, she says. “In terms of trade, a lot of the economy is based on water. When you go downtown you see the river running through, drive a little bit further you see Lake Erie. In your backyard there is some kind of a ditch or a creek, so we have that connection.” As part a downstream community on the Maumee River in the Great Lakes Watershed, residents see the value of water. ... READ MORE

Meaningful Dry-Weather Flow Reductions

| Dry-weather runoff, or non-stormwater discharge, is flow that enters the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) from a combination of activities including lawn watering, over-irrigation, car washing, illegal discharges, and groundwater seepage. These flows, often called “urban drool,” pose an environmental threat due in large part to the trash, sediment, and pollutants they transport through ... READ MORE