Sunday, July 12, 2015
Storm water harvesting has emerged as a commendable sustainable practice over the last few years. Homeowners and businesses alike can find suitable collection and storage technologies that fit into their property and fulfill their water conservation goals. For commercial establishments or companies, specifically, the advantages that can be gleaned from these innovative stormwater solutions are valuable.
Friday, July 10, 2015
"Do you want a more sustainable home? Like many others today, you can explore various creative ways to reduce your use of resources like energy and water, as well as reduce waste. You can keep better watch or control of your consumption by enforcing household policies with your family, for instance, or reuse items that you would have otherwise thrown out. When it comes to water conservation, you also have to think of limiting excess consumption or waste and promoting smart use throughout the home. One solution that some homes are implementing for water efficiency is the use of stormwater systems. By collecting, treating, and storing storm runoff, these technologies help provide you an alternative or additional supply of water that you can use for a variety of domestic chores like washing your cars, watering your lawn or the plants in your garden and flushing the toilets."
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
"The city of Steamboat Springs in Colorado recently initiated a storm water management project that was set to begin May 26, 2015. The project includes the installation of an underground stormwater treatment device that supplements the existing storm sewer along one of the city’s major thoroughfares. The new system is expected to remove litter, sediment, oil and other pollutants from stormwater runoff before it’s released into the Yampa River. To coincide with the project, the city’s Public Works Department also hosted a one day training workshop on May 28, 2015 that aimed to discuss the inspection and maintenance of post-construction stormwater best management practices (BMP). Colorado Stormwater Center was tasked to present the workshop, which was held at Colorado State University."
Monday, July 6, 2015
The North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF) hosted a program last May 28, which brought around 45 officials and civil engineers from all over the country to Wrightsville Beach to evaluate a stormwater BMP concept they pioneered. The BMP involves using runoff reduction techniques that sever the direct connection of rainfall and runoff to local waters. It employed the use of infiltration chambers that let polluted runoff seep slowly into the earth instead of going directly into outfall pipes and local waters.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Whether you have your own water supply or you rely on the water provided by the city, having a reliable source of water is crucial in any home. After all, there are many everyday situations, such as bathing and laundry, that demand you have enough water on hand. According to research conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family (four people) consumes roughly 400 gallons of water per day. The amount of water that the average American household uses is eye-popping, and homeowners can only imagine how much that usage contributes toward their monthly water bills. Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can reduce the amount of water they use at home. One such way would be to have residential stormwater solutions like StormChambers installed at home.
Monday, June 8, 2015
According to data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), floods caused $2,861,426,089 worth of damage in 2014. Over the last 30 years, the NOAA estimates that floods have caused $7.96 billion in damages each year. With the devastating effects of flooding well-documented, it is important that city government, industrial, and commercial sectors should have robust stormwater systems in place. With these systems in place, water is safely stored and disposed of before a flood can cause significant property damage.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
There’s currently no sign of California’s dry spell abating. With much of the state’s sources of water bone dry, authorities have turned to the Pacific for their water need. All eyes are currently on the Carlsbad desalination plant, which will provide San Diego County with seven percent of its water needs. A second plant in Huntington Beach has been proposed but awaiting approval. While desalination plants have created oases in the most arid places, some believe desalination shouldn’t be the long-term solution. In a letter to David Pisarra and his article on desalination in the Santa Monica Daily Press, Matthew King, communications director of the nonprofit Heal The Bay, argued that a more natural course is needed.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Last April, the city council of Fremont, NE convened to look at their numbers regarding the city’s flood mitigation projects: a viaduct and a levee. Currently, the city is funding the construction of the viaduct, which began a few years ago after voters approved it. Meanwhile, the levee would help significantly especially with rapid response by emergency crews. Both projects would cost the city close to $28 million. Unfortunately, according to Jody Sanders, the city’s director of finance, the city would still be $2.6 million short even with the reserves. Mayor Scott Getzschman sees no other way to acquire the deficit but through taxes, which isn’t always a popular option. The council is expected to vote on the final budget on September this year.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Weather conditions can often be very burdensome on stormwater facilities for a variety of reasons. First, if regular maintenance is neglected, it can result in stormwater system damages, as well as trash, debris, and sediment accumulation. Therefore, inspection and maintenance are tasks that should be done properly and regularly. Of course, the schedule of your inspection will depend on the type of stormwater solutions you employ—wet or dry surface basins such as ponds and sand filters respectively—will require shorter inspection intervals due to their location and their potential for risks.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Stormwater ponds and wetlands are designed to collect polluted stormwater that would otherwise flow into rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water during a precipitation event. For these systems to function properly, they need to have a dam, or some other form of stable embankment to keep water contained within the system. There are many measures that can be taken to maintain the integrity of a pond or wetland stormwater system, unfortunately, even the most well-maintained of these systems can be prone to compromising issues at times. The issue with stormwater ponds and wetlands: The natural behavior of groundhogs, nutria, and muskrats is detrimental to the structural strength of dams and embankments that hold a pond or wetland stormwater system together.
According to statistics compiled by the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. In fact, total flood insurance claims from 2003 to 2012 averaged nearly $4 billion per annum. The top three states with the highest number of insurance claims are New Jersey, New York, and Louisiana. The presence of floodwater in any residential area is a huge cause for concern. After all, the health risks associated with flooding are well documented. Exposure to debris floating in floodwater can result in infected wounds. Consuming products contaminated by pollutants and bacteria in floodwater can cause diarrheal diseases. Furthermore, stagnant floodwater encourages the proliferation of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses.
As snow continues to melt in different parts of the United States, the chances of flooding increase. This possibility is especially applicable to low-lying areas that are expected to see additional rain over the course of the next few weeks. The situation can only worsen if the area does not have a robust storm water BMP (best management practices) system in place. At first glance, it would seem that flooding is an everyday risk that comes with living in these areas. Although some people see it as such, this outlook does not make the health risks brought about by flood water any less serious.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Detention and retention may be used interchangeably in other fields, but not when it comes to implemented stormwater solutions. Each has its own distinction, and a faux pas it would be if a person were to mistakenly call one by the other’s name. Speaking in terms of stormwater BMPs (best management practices), the reason detention and retention are often interchanged is because both are methods of flood damage reduction. However, that’s where their similarities end. By definition, a detention stormwater BMP is an area where stormwater is temporarily stored, or detained, and is eventually allowed to drain slowly when water levels recede in the receiving channel.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The United States is increasingly becoming an urban society. Despite its many benefits, there are certain downsides to urbanization that severely affect the environment. For instance, vegetation and soil need to be removed, drainage networks need to be built, and land surface needs to be reshaped—all of which contribute to peak discharge, frequency, and volume of floods in nearby streams. Put simply, some of the biggest aspects of urbanization contribute to flooding in many different ways. Due to the increased risk of flooding, city planners make it a point to include flood protection in their priorities. A variety of technologies are available toward this end, including bioinfiltration, enhanced tree pits, pocket wetlands, green roofs, and subsurface detention, retention, and infiltration practices. Four types of subsurface stormwater systems are briefly described below.
According to a study by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the Midwest and Great Lakes region has seen a 31 percent increase in heavy rainfall and snow events over the last 50 years. In Ohio, when these events occur, floodwater and stormwater runoff typically flow over urban grounds. This can overwhelm an area’s sewer infrastructure and pour into local waterways, thereby seriously disturbing local ecosystems and water quality. One Akron, Ohio resident in particular saw Yellow Creek waters tear through her backyard and take half of her home in a recent flood. The resident, Brenda McShaffery, attests to what the NOAA scientists are alluding to: it’s raining more often in Ohio. This should compel residents to consider implementing effective solutions, one of which is subsurface drainage.
Soil erosion is one of the world’s biggest environmental concerns. The problem is not limited to any locale—in fact, it’s a widespread problem that affects both urban and rural settings. The good thing with the latter is that they have nature to protect them. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, help in mitigating soil erosion during disaster, and play a key role in stabilizing coastlines. Urban settings don’t typically have that level of protection working for them. How mangroves work Mangroves help protect shores and coastlines in three ways: Firstly, each kilometer of mangrove can reduce storm surge levels by up to 0.5 meters. Secondly, the first 100 meters of mangroves can reduce the height of high wind and swell waves by 13 to 66 percent.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
No flood is ever really welcome, especially if it takes casualties in the form of damaged properties, or worse, lost lives. However, it has become more and more of a regular occurrence in recent times, even in dry states like California, no thanks to the dire changes in the climates of different regions around the globe. In fact, even the most arid regions of the country are warned about the possibility that they may start experiencing rain more frequently. For example, in their article for LATimes.com, published earlier this year, Joseph Serna and Ruben Vives discuss the biggest rainstorm that struck Los Angeles in the last two years. They described how the flooding caused fear of mudslides among the residents living at the face and foothill of Mount Saint Gabriel.
Friday, January 2, 2015
A November 1, 2014 article from The Guardian reported on a strong storm that hit California. Heavy rain ensued and brought much-needed relief to the drought-stricken state. Unfortunately, the rains also caused mudslides in Los Angeles. State officials, however, were able to safely evacuate those residing in danger areas. While many chose to look at the bright side and greeted the rain with open arms, experts warned people that flood runoff can be dangerous. Running water can be easily contaminated, because flood run off contains bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants that make the water dangerous for public consumption.