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Using Waste Biochar to Clean Stormwater

Using Waste Biochar to Clean Stormwater

Oregon BEST funds help company team with OSU researcers to refine biochar mix that could cut stormwater filter costs by 60 percent A new round of commercialization funding from Oregon BEST is helping a Portland company collaborate with Oregon State University researchers to advance a biochar-based filter system that utilizes waste biochar from lumber mills to remove heavy metals from stormwater. The new filter media cost 60 percent less than most activated carbon filter systems, an advantage for companies mandated to filter stormwater.

Sediment from this Roanoke County hillsi

Sediment from this Roanoke County hillside undoubtedly eroded during this weekend’s rain and washed into the nearby stream.

Sediment pollution has many negative impacts on River Health:
1. Decreased water clarity – increased sediment loading into a stream will decrease water clarity and reduce visibility for fish seeking food and places to live.
2. Damage to fish gills and filter feeding apparatus of invertebrates.
3. Changes to the benthic (bottom) structure of the stream/river bed – coarse substrates such as gravels and boulders are replaced/smothered by sand and silt.
4. Decreased numbers of invertebrate species from smothering of habitat – invertebrates are a food source to some fish and diverse invertebrate communities are also an indicator of healthy stream systems.
5. Decreased algal food supply at base of food chain – sediments can scour algae from rocks, make algae unpalatable, or reduce light to levels where algae cannot grow, because plants need light to photosynthesise.
6. Increased contaminants from surrounding land – sediments can transport attached pollutants such as nutrients, bacteria, and toxic chemicals from agriculture and horticulture into our streams.

More information from US EPA:

With cooler temps and more rain on the way, fall turfgrass overseeding time is here

With cooler temps and more rain on the way, fall overseeding time is here – ask your local supplier for a turf-type tall fescue blend.  A dense stand of Turfgrass is one of the best ways to prevent sediment from being washed into local creeks, streams, and rivers.

Photo Sep 11, 6 58 53 PM (HDR)Photo Sep 11, 6 56 00 PM (HDR)Be sure to check the tags – The Blue “Certified Seed” tag is important to know you are buying quality and the “Grass Seed Mixture” tag lets you know how old the seed is and what varieties are included.

If you have never heard of the varieties check the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) website for your state’s data:

For those in Southwest Virginia, here’s the results website for the most recent Virginia Tech Turfgrass variety trials:

Stormwater Management at Patagonia’s Ventura Headquarters

Stormwater Management at Patagonia’s Ventura Headquarters

When rainfall hits an impermeable surface — such as a parking lot, roof or sidewalk — it runs off, carrying with it garbage, oil, gasoline, pesticides, etc., that are then are washed away, eventually ending up in the ocean. This video provides insight into the improvements Patagonia made to its corporate headquarters in order to reduce and clean the stormwater leaving our campus. We added two bioswales to the a low-lying areas that drain our parking lot. The bioswales allow stormwater to soak into the soil, which naturally filters it.

LA’s first Complete Green Street – Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Project

LA’s first Complete Green Street – Council for Watershed Health’s Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Project

Through the Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Project the Council for Watershed Health and its partners have built the first “Complete Green Street” in the City of Los Angeles. Designed to reduce flooding, reduce water pollution, recharge our local groundwater supplies, increase green spaces, and enhance the community, the Project serves as a living laboratory to test and demonstrate multiple alternative stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

Green City, Clean Waters: 25-year plan to transform Philadelphia’s creeks & rivers

Green City, Clean Waters is Philadelphia’s 25-year plan to transform the health of the City’s creeks and rivers primarily through a land-based approach. By implementing green stormwater infrastructure projects such as rain gardens and stormwater planters, the City can reduce water pollution impacts while improving our essential natural resources and making our neighborhoods more beautiful.

Full Story is here:

Sustainable Stormwater management: How it is implemented and what are the benefits

Sustainable Stormwater management: How it is implemented and what are the benefits?

Stormwater has traditionally been seen as a nuisance – something that needs be collected and moved out of sight as quickly as possible. When Stormwater is seen as a resource that can be managed sustainably, everyone benefits. Sustainable Stormwater management practices help a project achieve success across the triple bottom line measurements: financial, environmental, and social.

Full article is here:


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