As both an MS4 community and part of the Milwaukee River Basin, the city of Cudahy, Wisc., is required to remove suspended solids and phosphorus from storm water runoff. Additionally, the city is committed to implementing green infrastructure practices into public works projects, so when the city was tasked with replacing an alley and a couple of parking lots, they were introduced to air-cooled blast furnace slag. After an ecotoxicity test showed little impact, and a way to work around a residential area was discovered, the city chose to use a permeable articulating concrete block to capture and transfer storm water under the alley and one parking lot. A high-performance biofilter was used for the second parking lot. To document the capability of the systems, officials have implemented a three-year monitoring program of the discharge for both project areas.Read More
I've worked for Construction EcoServices for the last two years and one thing I've learned is that something will always go wrong during construction. It doesn't matter how good the design is, challenges will have to be conquered to reach the ultimate goal of a finished project. One of the most common challenges that occur for biofiltration systems is erosion. We faced a significant erosion problem after our team constructed 4 FocalPoint biofiltration systems on a project in Frisco, TX. A few heavy rain events is all it took for sediment to erode from the bioswale slopes and into the mulch layer.Read More
Check out the latest blog post by Anthony Kendrick; Business Development Manager at our Texas VAR, Construction EcoServices.Read More
Barry Fagain nails the value proposition associated with collaboration in this week's installment. We have a unique opportunity to exploit the power of this process to grow stronger, better, faster - together. But like most things, we can only get as good as we give.Read More
My favorite stormwater blogger, Barry Fagan, is improbably located in Alabama, improbably employed by a DOT and yet is a fascinating and intellectually challenging champion of change, particularly in the stormwater arena. I only wish he was in a position to give the presentation he outlines below, not just to the Civil Engineering department at his Alma mater, but at every civil engineering department in the country. Read on, I think you'll agree:Read More
When introducing FocalPoint HPMBS to engineers, landscape architects, public agencies and contractors, we sometimes get asked if the mulch layer is really necessary. Some people want to replace it with various sizes and types of rocks while others contemplate eliminating the top layer altogether. We continue to stress the importance of the mulch as an important part of any bioretention system. Recently we inspected a FocalPoint that was installed last fall and found that the mulch layer worked exactly as designed (see pictures below). Although the area immediately surrounding this FocalPoint was stabilized before commissioning the system, there was still a tremendous amount of sediment carried into this basin during the spring months. During our site visit we discovered an area on the site that had been disturbed as part of an unrelated landscape project and not been properly protected. Silt and undesirable mulch from that site was washed into the storm sewer and deposited into this FocalPoint basin. Here are three lessons learned from this inspection:Read More
Our friends at EHRA, Megan Crutcher, P.E., CFM and Justin Ring, P.E. talk about the true costs of Low Impact Development.
The cost comparison analysis they provide is based on their latest single family residential project. Camillia is a 90 acre subdivision by Legend Homes in Fort Bend County, Texas that implemented 70 FocalPoint High Performance Modular Biofiltration Systems in extended cul-de-sac bioswales. Watch this video to see a break down of the cost savings in a side by side comparison of traditional design and Low Impact Development.Read More
HPMBS delivers the water quality benefits of bioretention while significantly reducing or eliminating the major obstacles to its use in roadways. Most important, construction costs and long term maintenance costs are a small fraction of what they would be with traditional bioretention. If you’re curious about how that might work, take a look at the article, written by David Batts from our Houston-based VAR, Construction EcoServices.
Several weeks ago I was honored to be an invited participant at a small White House sponsored conference to explore how to accelerate the nationwide implementation of Green Infrastructure. It was truly an interesting experience and one that I believe it's safe to say, the 80 invitees and 20 or so observers from across the country, came away from feeling energized about. Voices were heard, ideas were explored in detail, and action plans expressed. I've intended to write a blog about the day-long event but our friend Seth Brown, Stormwater Program and Policy Manager, at Water Environment Federation, and occasional Guest Blogger on this site, beat me to it with a posting that captures the essence of the event very well. You'll find it by following this link:
Making the Case for High Flow Biofiltration Systems
We all know the history of Low Impact Development (LID). Developed in Prince George's County, Maryland in the early '90s, adopted throughout the Chesapeake Bay, gradually adopted in the Northwest and the Great Lakes and now picking up steam and moving coast to coast; it's an important part of the upcoming post construction rulemaking and TMDL responses; and its rightfully recognized as a key piece to solving our water quality, volume and velocity woes and to meeting our sustainable development goals.