April 7, 2011 Vol. 1, No. 1
The Stormwater Report is a monthly e-newsletter that highlights advanced practices, cutting-edge research, policy updates, and current events pertaining to stormwater. Look for The Stormwater Report on the first Thursday of every month.
Leading the Shift from Gray to Green
After regionalizing stormwater systems in three northern Kentucky counties — forming a network of more than 400 km (250 mi) of storm sewers — Jeff Eger understands the difficulties of dealing with stormwater. In fact, during his 16-year tenure as executive director of Sanitary District 1 (SD1), Eger consolidated 30 city sanitary sewer entities, yet he considered stormwater management his biggest challenge.
Now, as the new executive director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Eger envisions WEF as the go-to resource for stormwater professionals. And one way of addressing stormwater needs, Eger believes, is by supporting green infrastructure.
“Through green infrastructure, we achieve more measurable water quality and quantity improvements than through gray controls alone,” said Eger. In addition, green infrastructure has many co-benefits and is often less costly than gray controls, he said.
“Although green infrastructure solutions are not universal, utilities need flexibility and site-specific remedies,” said Eger. For example, by diverting flow to a new collection system, SD1 was able to greatly reduce sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) at one heavily used wastewater pump station. However, to reduce SSOs to zero, SD1 would need additional storage — a $20-million, underground, concrete tank.
The tank, however, would not improve water quality in the nearby stream, which was already bacterially impaired during dry weather. But, by constructing a wetland, SD1 was able to improve dry-weather water quality by 20 additional recreation days. Plus, the project cost only $1.2 million — half of which came from stimulus funds. While existing regulations did not accommodate the trade, regulators did allow SD1 to delay construction of the tank.
“The paradigm shift from gray to green starts, at the highest level, with sound science,” said Eger. “By bringing that information to the forefront, WEF will enable decision-makers and the water community as a whole to rethink the way we manage stormwater.”
WEF Expands Stormwater Focus
Managing stormwater is integral to protecting the water environment. Therefore, WEF is making stormwater a key priority. To coordinate expanding efforts, WEF recently formed a Stormwater Coordinating Council. In addition, WEF’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®) 2011 will have continuous stormwater programming, plus a green infrastructure workshop. Registration for WEFTEC 2011 is open now.
Planning for a Rainy Day
The April issue of Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) features an article on a Massachusetts utility that is taking advantage of real-time flow measurement devices coupled to automated diversion gate controls. This technology is enabling the utility to simplify storm preparation for operators, make use of in-line storage capacity, and reduce combined sewer overflows. Read more at www.wef.org/magazine.
“Meeting the Public Education Requirements of the Municipal Stormwater Permit”
This free webcast will be presented at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 4.
Member Association Events
WEA of Ontario Annual Conference
April 10–12, Toronto, Ontario
Session 19, “Stormwater,” is scheduled for 8:30–11:30 a.m., and Session 24, “Watershed Issues,” will be held 1:30–3:30 p.m. on April 12.
Alabama WEA Annual Conference
April 10–13, Orange Beach, Ala.
This event will feature stormwater sessions 1–4 p.m. on April 11.
April 12–16, Ontario, Calif.
Sessions on “Stormwater Management” are slated for 1:40–4:35 p.m. on April 15.
The Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ 2011 Spring Conference and Expo
April 19–20 in Macon, Ga.
Stormwater sessions are scheduled 9–10:30 a.m. on April 19.
“Wet-Weather Issues, Stormwater and CSOs”
May 3–4 in Portsmouth, N.H.
A specialty seminar and exhibit by the New England Water Environment Association
"Meeting the Challenge of Achieving Bay Area Stormwater Requirements"
8 a.m. to 4:35 p.m., May 17
Linthicum Heights, Md.
A seminar presented by the Chesapeake Water Environment Association