Fall 2009
Issue # 36
Welcome to the 36th issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly electronic newsletter!
Are you ready for the next generation of stormwater BMPs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed? 
To make sure, you'll want to keep in touch with us about our upcoming stormwater training conference in March 2010, co-sponsored by the Chesapeake Stormwater Network.  All stormwater designers, plan reviewers, and MS4 managers will be invited to sign up for this 3-day training event in Virginia.  Location and dates to be determined soon.  Check the Center's website in December for more details and registration info!

Runoff Ramblings

Is Runoff Volume the "Real" Pollutant?  If So, Can I Still Get My Plan Approved?
Volume as a pollutant?  We have been focusing on total suspended solids, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, bacteria, and other common urban pollutants for a long time now - have we been missing the root cause of stream impairments and stormwater pollution - too much runoff volume?  Isn't reducing the overall volume of runoff the best way to reduce commensurate pollutant loads (not to mention downstream channel erosion problems)?
If you look around in the stormwater world these days, volume seems to be the buzz.  The September, 2009 issue of Stormwater Magazine has an excellent article by Andrew Reese entitled "Volume-Based Hydrology".  If you have any questions or doubts about the role of volume in stormwater management, start with this article. 
Now for the next challenge: how do we fold this concept into the process of drafting, reviewing, and approving stormwater management plans for development sites?  After all, most local codes and design manuals use compliance tools that are still based on peak rate control and pollutant removal through BMPs. 
This, frankly, has been one of the hobgoblins vexing the mass application of LID.  Many people (including developers, design consultants, and plan reviewers) are fond of the concept, but the mechanics of putting this stuff on a plan and getting it approved by the local authority has not always been smooth.  Approval of LID or volume-based stormwater solutions is often a special (read -- prolonged) loop in the plan approval process.  The local reviewer gages compliance by using the tools of the trade - code language, checklist, standard hydrology and hydraulics methods, and/or design manual -- and LID practices don't always fit in so neatly, and therefore is not duly credited.  In other words, there isn't a compliance metric that allows LID and traditional practices to work in concert to achieve compliance. More often than not, the traditional practices achieve compliance while the LID practices are considered expensive window dressing or "demonstration" projects.
Help is on the way!
Many localities and states are blazing new territory with regard to computation methods and credit or compliance systems in order to level the playing field.  Here are a few examples:
  • Runoff Reduction Method: The Center, along with the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, developed this method for Virginia's proposed stormwater regulations.  The method accounts for the runoff reduction capabilities of both LID-type and conventional practices.  The method is accompanied by a compliance spreadsheet that allows site designers to experiment with 14 different categories of practices, including rooftop disconnection, sheet flow to conservation areas, rainwater harvesting, and permeable parking, in addition to more conventional practices.  The final outcome of the spreadsheet is a post-construction pollutant load for total phosphorus, as well as an adjusted curve number that can be applied to larger storm events.
The technical basis for the Runoff Reduction Method can be found in the Runoff Reduction Technical Memo.  The spreadsheet can be found on the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation website (scroll down to "Revised Runoff Reduction Spreadsheets and Background Documents;" the latest spreadsheet and documentation is dated September 30, 2009).  All of the supporting BMP specifications can be found on the Virginia Stormwater BMP Clearinghouse, maintained by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center (scroll to the bottom of the page to download BMP specifications).
  • Capitol Region Watershed District (Twin Cities, MN), Volume Reduction Worksheet: The Twin Cities seem to be at the forefront of infiltration and runoff reduction.  The worksheet is also in spreadsheet format, and accounts for various "volume reduction practices" as well as "subsurface storage and infiltration volume."  The spreadsheet provides handy storage volume credits for seven different types of practices.  Volume reduction is compared to a standard of 1-inch x site impervious cover.
  • Coastal Stormwater Supplement to the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual: The Center developed the Coastal Stormwater Supplement to aid coastal communities in Georgia in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities of coastal stormwater.  The Supplement recommends reduction of the first 1.2 inches of rainfall through the use of many of the practices discussed in the Runoff Reduction Method.  A spreadsheet has been developed to allow designers to comply with the recommendation.  This spreadsheet accounts for only runoff reduction, and not pollutant loads (in contrast to Virginia's version).  Also, this version credits the specific designed volume of a practice, rather than relying on percent removal estimates.  The spreadsheet and the Stormwater Supplement are available here for download from the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission.
We're sure there are many other budding methods and techniques out there to account for runoff volume reduction.  If your community has developed or is working on such a method, please let us know.  Also, let us know if this type of tool is the "missing link" in your community's efforts to incorporate LID or innovative practices.  We'll let you all know about the results in a future installment of Runoff Rambling.
As always, feel free to email your comments and suggestions to Dave Hirschman: djh@cwp.org.
-The Runoff Ramblings Team

2009 Watershed Institute

Is your watershed protected? Over 80 watershed leaders can now answer that question after participating in the Center's Watershed Institute held in Columbia, SC from September 22-25th. Participants arrived from all over the country, including Puerto Rico and Guam, representing watershed groups, local municipalities, and state and federal agencies. They arrived ready to equip themselves with knowledge and tools to complete comprehensive watershed plans in their local watersheds.
The Institute focused on describing the necessary steps for developing a watershed management plan. With a focus on our current project work in Richland County for the Crane Creek watershed, Center staff along with guest speakers (Joe Kocy, Dr. Fred Holland, Tom Schueler, Anne Kitchell, Glenn Barnes, Srinivas Valavala, Albert McCullough, Dr. Susan Libes, and Niles Glasgow) led classroom and field-based sessions. Classroom sessions covered goal-setting, regulatory requirements, implementation plans, and stakeholder involvement, to name a few, and field exercises looked at upland, retrofit, forest, and wetland assessments.  In addition to the main parts of watershed management plans, the Institute also included special sessions on erosion and sediment control, better site design, agricultural practices, and the Watershed Treatment Model.  Time for group work was also included, allowing participants to use what they learned, and discuss watershed management ideas with people from other regions and backgrounds.  Participants were also able to demonstrate their teamwork and test their watershed skills in the first ever Watershed Olympics. Go USA (Unified Stream Assessment, that is!).
A special thank you to our sponsors who made the 2009 Watershed Institute possible:
US Environmental Protection Agency
South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
Richland County, SC
Environmental Finance Center
Equinox Environmental
Hazen and Sawyer
WK Dickson
Here's what participants had to say about the Watershed Institute:
"Appreciate the staff's energy; each staff member tried to connect with participants."
"All the instructors were willing to help out and provide further information or assistance; they are a good team and positive."
"This was the most fun I have ever had at a conference/seminar."
Keep an eye out in future Runoff Rundowns for information on the Center's next Institute.

CWP Webcasts

Our last webcast sold out, so act fast...

Urban Watershed Forestry - Wed, November 18, 12-2pm Eastern
Cost: $99

"Who will speak for the trees?" wondered the Lorax in a popular book from our childhood. Go back to school this November to learn what the Lorax already knew about Urban Watershed Forestry, the art and science of using trees to protect and restore our watersheds.  The webcast will cover Urban Tree Canopy 101, Advanced Urban Tree Canopy, and, for those math geeks out there, Urban Tree Accounting, plus a virtual field trip to learn hands-on planting and maintenance techniques from our resident forester.  The webinar will introduce participants to various urban watershed forestry tools and will feature guest speakers from two communities to share their experiences with urban forestry at the municipal scale and the site scale.  See you in class!

Erosion/Sediment Control - Tues, December 15, 12-2pm Eastern
Cost: $99

This webcast will provide an introduction to the elements of effective local erosion and sediment control programs. It will provide information on addressing NPDES MS4 construction site runoff control requirements, developing meaningful erosion and sediment control plans, reviewing the effectiveness of site-level erosion and sediment control practices, and developing an effective plan review, inspection, and enforcement process.  The webcast will also address training and certification and using third-party inspectors to ease the burden on local program resources.

For registration information, visit http://www.cwp.org/Webcasts/

Feature Article:

Extreme BMP Makeover Eagleville Brook Impervious Cover TMDL

Eagleville Brook is an impaired stream that flows through a highly urbanized area of the University of Connecticut (UConn) Campus and down into the rural Town of Mansfield, CT where it meets the Willimantic River.  The brook is piped under the most developed section of campus and daylights off-campus further downstream near the Town of Mansfield.  The Brook watershed was recently issued an impervious cover (IC) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) by Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP).  Representing the first of its kind in the nation, the TMDL is not based on a specific pollutant but rather on an indicator of the impacts of urban development. CTDEP set a target watershed impervious cover of 11% for streams, with a 50 square mile drainage area or smaller. The 2.4 square mile Brook watershed, which is 18.9% impervious, exceeds the target by 97 acres, primarily in the highly urbanized section of the UConn campus.  The objective of this project is to meet the TMDL requirements by reducing the amount of effective IC in the watershed by either removing IC or by disconnecting it through LID practices to treat runoff.
In response to this objective, the Center, along with Horsley Witten Group, UConn, CTDEP, and the Town of Mansfield identified approximately 50 stormwater retrofit opportunities for disconnection on the UConn campus. Retrofit projects identified included: bioretention, rainwater harvesting, permeable pavement, green roofs, rooftop disconnection to cisterns or turf, wetland creation/restoration, and soil amendments in compacted lawn areas.  The UConn campus offers a unique opportunity to achieve project implementation because of the campus's commitment to the environment and green building, and the rate at which redevelopment projects are being implemented.  Two parking lots have already been replaced with permeable pavement, and a green roof has been installed.
The next steps of the project are to identify the highest priority and near-term projects, and then to document a method that other communities can use to address future IC-based TMDLs.  This project has broad implications for communities nationwide seeking to use IC as a guide to progress in restoring or protecting their watersheds. 
The project website can be found here: http://clear.uconn.edu/eagleville/Eagleville_TMDL/Home.html

What We're Working On

Circuit Rider Network
The Center is pilot testing a Circuit Rider Network approach to providing technical support to local governments in Maryland and Virginia working to address water quality goals for local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.  Recognizing the diverse needs, interests, and resources of the hundreds of local governments in the Bay watershed, as well as the challenges of meeting water quality goals, the goal of the Circuit Rider Network is to create a group of technical service providers that can assist local governments in meeting those goals. Over the next year the Center will be working with elected officials in priority areas to create watershed plans, evaluate codes and ordinances, design and implement stormwater best management practices (BMPs), as well as other technical services to address Chesapeake Bay goals.  Understanding that the Center cannot possibly work with all of the local governments at one time, informative programs will be developed that are designed for the larger audience of local government leaders and elected officials.  These programs will be designed to provide leaders with information and skills to move towards improved water quality and eventually lead to a greater level of involvement.  The Center, along with project partners and state agencies, is currently identifying priority areas for on-the ground-support.
Stormwater Retrofit Plan for the Anchorage Canal Drainage Area

The Anchorage Canal is the northernmost canal in South Bethany, Delaware with a drainage area of approximately 125 acres and high levels of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, and sediment. It drains into one of Delaware's three inland bays, the Little Assawoman Bay, which is an estuary separated by a barrier beach from the Atlantic Ocean. Little Assawoman Bay connects to the ocean via the Ocean City Inlet. The Pollution Control Strategy (PCS) for the Inland Bays calls for the retrofitting of 4,500 acres within the Little Assawoman Bay watershed.

The Center is working with the DE Center for the Inland Bays and Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, as well as local partners, consisting of DelDOT, the Town of South Bethany, and University of Delaware.
The objective is to identify, prioritize, and conceptually develop pollution control measures for the drainage area to the Anchorage Canal and to work with property owners, property owner associations, and government agencies to create a step-by-step strategy for implementing the pollution control measures.
Anchorage Canal, DEIn August, CWP and partners conducted a field assessment of the drainage area consisting of the Neighborhood Source Assessment, Hotspot Investigation, and Retrofit Reconnaissance Investigation. Opportunities for bioretention, and existing pond and swale retrofits were identified. The next step is to develop a draft of the stormwater and pollution control strategy for the drainage area and hold a meeting with the project partners to review and revise the draft strategy. This will serve as an example for adjacent drainage areas to the Anchorage Canal to help meet the goals of the PCS for the Inland Bays.

Courtesy of Coastal Point (Photo taken by Monica Fleming)
Making the Connection Between Drinking Water and Forests
Frederick County, MDForests capture rainfall and replenish and cleanse our water supply.  These processes are widely accepted in the scientific community, yet they have not really been translated into the language that most often drives planning and land use decisions at the local level: dollars. Local government officials often make tough decisions about growth at the expense of natural resource conservation, and they must make these decisions without the benefit of economic data that measures the true costs of development and values of natural resources.  To address this gap, the Center received research funding from the Heineman Foundation to review existing literature on the costs and benefits of forests for protecting drinking water quality, and to conduct a pilot study evaluating the costs and benefits associated with conserving forests for drinking water protection in the Linganore Creek Watershed in Frederick County, Maryland.
We are close to completing the literature review, have defined a methodology to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with conserving forests for drinking water protection in Linganore Creek Watershed, and data collection is underway.  As part of this project, the Center will develop recommendations for local planners to integrate forest conservation and water supply planning into long term planning efforts and land development decisions.  The ultimate goal is for this material to be used to: a) advance planning for water supply and forest conservation and place it at the forefront of community issues, b) make the case for forest conservation to protect drinking water, c) encourage the use of incentives for forest conservation and tree planting that are more reflective of their true value, and d) factor in the costs of drinking water supply and treatment when evaluating development alternatives. 
Watershed Management in the Pacific Islands
In Guam and Saipan, the Center is working with Horsley Witten Group and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Program to address land based sources of pollution.  With support from NOAA and the Guam Coastal Management Program, the Center is helping to reduce pollutants from reaching sensitive coral reef ecosystems.
The team conducted a one-day workshop for agency staff, the Marianas Naval Facilities, and engineers and architects from local engineering firms to introduce effective watershed planning, stormwater management, and site design techniques that could be applied on Guam. The team also solicited feedback and ideas for four island-specific BMP designs: multi-cell ponding basins, island bioretention, permeable paving, and rainwater harvesting. Detailed specifications for these practices are planned as an update to their 2006 Stormwater Management Manual. The team also conducted field work in two priority watershed-- the Piti and Asan Watersheds.
In Saipan, the team worked with the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands' Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a one and one-half day workshop for agency staff covering municipal stormwater management, pollution prevention, and good housekeeping.  Attendees completed a rigorous pollution prevention team competition within the developed area of Garapan.  Despite the busy two weeks, the team found some time to explore the islands, learn some island dance moves, and even take a side trip to see some Better Site Design in Tokyo!

FYIJoe Battiata

Staff News

Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members - Joe Battiata, Senior Water Resources Engineer, and Bridget Edwards, Marketing Manager.

Joe joins us with over 25 years of experience in technical design, technical document writing, and project management related to hydrology, hydraulics, stormwater management, watershed management, erosion control, and general land development infrastructure design. Joe will be working from our Virginia office.

Bridget brings extensive experience in proposal submission, marketing, graphic and web design, and public relations to her new position at the Center. She will be working on fundraising efforts as well as proposal and grant submissions.

To all the Marylanders out there, if you're planning to plant a tree, find out the details of how to get a coupon for $25 here: http://www.trees.maryland.gov/

Where We're Speaking

Greg Hoffmann will present Results of Stormwater Retrofitting Inventory Project in Somerset, MD on November 4, 2009

Sadie Drescher is presenting on Adapting and transferring effective watershed planning tools to protect the coastal plain at the Coastal Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) in Portland, OR, on November 5, 2009
Bryan Seipp will present Urban Watershed Forestry Efforts in Frederick County, Maryland at the Partners in Community Forestry National Conference in Portland, OR on November 9, 2009
Paul Sturm will be presenting on watershed management and capacity building at the US Army Corps of Engineers Water and Watershed Course, Hydrologic Engineering Center in Davis, CA on November 17, 2009

Neely Law and Julie Schneider will conduct a Better Site Design workshop in Leesburg, VA on November 18th
Interested in a Center workshop?
If you are interested in a training workshop for your community or requesting a Center-led session at your conference, please contact Laurel Woodworth, (434) 293-5793, lw@cwp.org.

RESOURCE: The University of Louisville's Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility has released a handbook, Kentucky Wet Growth Tools for Sustainable Development: A Handbook on Land Use and Water for Kentucky Communitieshttp://louisville.edu/landuse/healthy-watersheds-land-use-initiative.html

RESOURCE: Results of the statewide forest fragmentation analysis are available from the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR). The analysis results are available as statewide, town level, and watershed level maps, data tables, and downloadable data.  http://clear.uconn.edu/projects/landscape/forestfrag
CONFERENCE: Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World November 1-5, 2009. Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. Organized by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. http://www.sgmeet.com/cerf2009/default.htm
CONFERENCE: CASQA Stormwater Conference: Stormwater Management: Challenges and Solutions November 2-4, 2009. Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA. Organized by California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA).  http://stormwaterconference.com/
CONFERENCE: 21st Annual Symposium: Evergreen: A Celebration of Conservation in a Changing World November 9-10, 2009. Marriot Waterfront in Baltimore, MD. Organized by the Wildlife Habitat Council. http://www.wildlifehc.org/events/symposium.cfm
CONFERENCE: AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference  November 9-12, 2009. Red Lion Hotel on 5th Ave, Seattle, WA. Organized by the American Water Resources Association. http://www.awra.org/meetings/Seattle2009/
WORKSHOP: Planning for the Future: Designing and Implementing a Climate Change Monitoring Network in Maryland's Non-tidal Waters November 17, 2009.  Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center, Millersville MD. Sponsored by the Maryland Water Monitoring Council. Contact Dan Boward, DBOWARD@dnr.state.md.us, for workshop details and registration form. The $25 registration fee must be paid by November 2nd.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS due December 10, 2009 and call for posters due December 30, 2009:  2010 Ohio Stormwater Conference June 10-11, 2010. Kalahari Resort, Sandusky, OH. Organized by the Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners and the Ohio Stormwater Association. http://ohioswa.com/conf_home.php

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS due January 8, 2010: 2010 International Conference on Stormwater and Urban Water Systems February 18-19, 2010. Toronto Airport Hilton, Toronto, ON. Organized by Computational Hydraulics International. http://www.computationalhydraulics.com/Training/Conferences/CallForPapers.asp
CONFERENCE: 10th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment - The New Green Economy January 20-22, 2010. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC. Organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment. http://ncseonline.org/conference/greeneconomy/cms.cfm?id=2924
CONFERENCE: Many Paths, One Destination: From Knowledge to Action February 4-7, 2010. Rocky Gap Lodge, Rocky Gap, MD. Organized by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. http://www.maeoe.org/conference/
CONFERENCE: 15th Water Conservation & Xeriscape Conference February 25-26, 2010. Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, Albuquerque, NM. Organized by the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico. http://www.xeriscapenm.com/xeriscape_conferences/2010/registration.php
CONFERENCE: 2010 International Low Impact Development (LID) Conference April 11-14, 2010. Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, San Francisco, CA. Organized by ASCE and EWRI. http://content.asce.org/conferences/lid10/call.html 
CONFERENCE: River Rally 2010 May 21-24, 2010. Snowbird, UT. Organized by River Network. Registration opens January 2010. http://www.rivernetwork.org/registration
Runoff Rundown Team: Hye Yeong Kwon, editor; Kathy Proebstle, contributions from Center staff.
Center for Watershed Protection
In This Issue
Runoff Ramblings
CWP Webcasts
Feature Article
What We're Working On