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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering ...I bet a lot of folks on here live in neighborhoods/subdivisions that have dedicated storm water management facilities. It may be in the form of a dry pond, a wet pond, an underground detention chamber, infiltration trenches, bio-swales, oil/grit separator vaults, etc. Do you know what your subdivision/development/workplace uses for storm water management? Have you ever wondered how they work? Do you know if yours is working properly? Most of these facilities are ignored by the average Joe, kinda like the underground utilities, nobody pays any attention until there is a disruption to our routine thru a water main break or a sink hole in the road. The thing is, with SWM infrastructure, it may not be working correctly but nobody will ever know unless they take a close look. There are a LOT of new regs coming down the line in the near future dealing with TMDL limits(Total Maximum Daily Load) on sediment and chemical pollutants into our bay. If your business or homeowners association is responsible for a SWM facility, now would be a good time to get familiar with it's design and operation. That way, if you get a nasty letter(Notice of Violation or NOV) from your city or county govt. after an inspection, you will be familiar with the material. A little preventive maintenance today can help avoid big expenses down the road. And, I would assume that anybody who enjoys the bay would be in favor of reducing pollutants. Sure, the big sewer plant spills get the headlines(sort of), but runoff is the equivalent of death by a thousand cuts. We've cut point source pollutants(industrial discharges from pipes) a lot over the last 40 years, but the more we pave and the more we build, the more runoff we generate. One of the reasons the water quality issue seems to be, well, stagnant. In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I do work for an engineer who exclusively focuses on SWM issues. But I would be happy to entertain any questions here regarding what folks as homeowners and concerned citizens can do to help maintain their own little corner of the watershed. A little effort can go a long way.
Pat in Joppa
 

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Pat got a question for you have you seen any studies on the effect of all the road treatment products on the water quality? seems like it would have a huge effect on the salinity and really hurt many of the creatures used to fresh water in the streams ie trout, crawfish etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Marcus, I would direct your question to the stream folks at MDE. We may see a change in the way our roads are treated in the future, I know my buddy the tree guy at SHA says that there will be a LOT less mowing along the right of ways in the future, vegetation is one of the best buffers there is. I would think that if the state is bound by the same regs as everybody else(and now that EPA is taking control) they're going to have to make some drastic changes in the way they do things. Issues relating to salt for ice/snow control have been around for many, many years, I remember reading about the subject in the early 70's as a kid. But Joe public who votes thinks the roads should never be white, and politics is a tough nut to crack. When I was a kid, sand was used for traction control here in Harford County, nowadays in response to public outcry, the attitude is we gotta keep those roads black even at the height of a blizzard. We'll see how things play out.
Pat in Joppa
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do u know Keith Underwood? He did our neighborhood over a year ago...he's a real visionary in this regard.
I'm sure my boss does, he lives and breathes this stuff, and had the vision to start a company exclusively dealing with SWM upkeep several years ago. I spent the last 20 years making sure these facilities were built properly in the first place, now I'm on the other side seeing how they perform over the long run. I'm just now starting to network with the big names in the field. Just to be clear, I didn't start this post as an advertisement for my company, just wanted to give folks a little poke about something they may have control over that effects the water quality in our watershed. Hell, it's winter, what are we gonna talk about other than weather and regulations?
Pat in Joppa
 

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My community had a new stormwater drainage system installed last winter using stimulus funds. Keith Underwood managed the project. They took what had been a drain pipe dumping into a 20' deep gorge (our Grand Canyon) and built a series of step-down terraces constructed with natural materials. It turned out very nicely. I have not been there since spring because there is no easy access without walking through someone's yard. I posted some pictures on the SRRKC board last winter.

http://www.tidalfish.com/forums/sho...-project-nearly-finished?highlight=stormwater

http://www.tidalfish.com/forums/sho...ater-restoration-project?highlight=stormwater
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The project where I met my current boss was the restoration of White Marsh Run between Rt. 40 and Rt. 7 in Harford County. Took a stream that had run thru an active gravel pit for the last hundred years or so(it actually ran across a paved road on the site) and made it work again. Every year I go back to see if any spring run fish have made it up, but I honestly don't think they can get up the fish ladder at Rt. 40. You guys heard of the giant plastic "island" in the Pacific? Well, one is forming in the Atlantic as well. Your community SWM ponds are magnets for trash of all sorts, don't be afraid to be pro-active on policing it up. It WILL end up in the bay eventually if left.
Pat in Joppa
 

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Eminent Brothers,
WOW!!!! Guess what I'm in charge of in AA County........could it be stormwater management construction and maintenance inspections and enforcement??? Well that's part of what we do anyway and I can talk all day about SWM. I know Keith Undewwood well and we work together all the time. Met with him yesterday as a matter of fact. The State SWM Code requires all SWM facilities to be inspected every 3 years for proper operation and maintenance. Of course I'm not aware of any Maryland jurisdiction. including MDE, with enough manpower resources to do that, especially in these stressed economic times. So we do appreciate any citizen that takes the time to look at the SWM device in their yard or community and calls us on the AA County Environmental Hotline at 410-222-7777 to report anything that doesn't look right. We rather check it and find no problems rather then not know about it at all. There is a new State-wide SWM law in place as a result of the SWM Act of 2007 and the new regulations for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of SWM devices is now in place. The new catch phrase id ESD to the MEP......that's Environmental Site Design to the Maximum Extent Practical. All the jurisdictions must have an federally issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) dischagre permit for all the stormsewers in the jurisdiction. It's called an MS-4 permit for short. MS-4 permits contain specific compliance critaria on the use of roadway chemicals, herbicides, pesticides and the like that can wash off roads or yards and into a stormdrain system. I could say a lot more.......but will save everyone from the soapbox
 
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