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?
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
Is Runoff Volume the "Real" Pollutant? If So, Can I Still Get My Plan Approved?
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)?
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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
- 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.
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: email@example.com
-The Runoff Ramblings
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
Sea Grant Consortium
Hazen and Sawyer
Here's what participants had to say about the Watershed
the staff's energy; each staff member tried to connect with participants."
instructors were willing to help out and provide further information or
assistance; they are a good team and positive."
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.
Our last webcast sold out, so act fast...
Forestry - Wed, November 18, 12-2pm Eastern
"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
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/.
Extreme BMP Makeover Eagleville Brook Impervious Cover TMDL
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.
project website can be found here:
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.
Plan for the Anchorage
Canal Drainage Area
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.
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. In 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
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
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.
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.
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!
Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members - Joe Battiata, Senior Water Resources Engineer, and Bridget Edwards, Marketing Manager.
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.
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.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 Communities. http://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
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/
for the Future: Designing and Implementing a Climate Change Monitoring Network
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.
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
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
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.