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InfoBlog

Life cycle of Coho Salmon: at risk in Urban Areas

Swimming Upstream: Coho Salmon are Heading Toward Extinction in Urban Streams—and It's Because of Stormwater

Following urban watershed restoration efforts throughout the Puget Sound Region in the 1990s, ecologists and biologists were surprised to realize that restoration efforts had little positive effect on coho populations. Read more

By 2045, one third of the 52 locations analyzed can expect 180 or more tidal floods per year.

BOOM! Goes the Atmosphere: Fixing Our Aging Stormwater Infrastructure Requires Innovative Solutions

Regardless of whether you believe the science, it's becoming quite evident that ongoing urbanization and more frequent—and more intense—storms are hitting our cities on a regular basis, increasing stormwater runoff and severely stressing our stormwater infrastructure. Read more

Our fantastic UW team, presenting their prototype to Anya and Erin

UW Bothell Capstone Team Delivers Prototype

StormSensor is proud to congratulate the members of our UW Bothell team on the completion of their capstone project - and is thrilled with their Terrapin prototype! The breadth of knowledge, experience, and hard work demonstrated by the team, as well as their ability to collaborate across departments, was extraordinary. We are so lucky to have been able to work with these exceptional individuals both over the course of this project and in the future.

Read more

Why We Need to Maintain Our Drains

Why We Need to Maintain Our Drains

Every catch basin in the country—this includes all the drains you see along the road and in parking lots—should be cleaned at least once a year. Most cities enforce this on an annual inspection basis, and property managers face the threat of fines if it’s not done in time. But why? Simple. The sediment that collects in the catch basins build up and gets swept away during storms. And that sediment carries with it a whole host of chemicals and bacteria—not to mention the sediment itself—that end up in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Read more

Turns out that Saving the Environment Saves Money

Turns out that Saving the Environment Saves Money

We hear an awful lot about how environmental regulations negatively impact our economy...but what if the opposite is true? From a property or city perspective, spending a little bit to address any issues before they arise results in big savings. Consider that for every $1 spent on stormwater system maintenance & mitigation, $4 are saved in damages. So, for example, if every commercial building owner spent $500 on annual maintenance & mitigation, that means that, collectively, you save $11.2B in repairs and fines associated with flooding and property damage. That is not insignificant. Read more

Impervious Surfaces Ruin Everything

Impervious Surfaces Ruin Everything

Impervious surfaces are any surfaces that block infiltration of water into the soil. When it comes to humans, it's our concrete and asphalt, rooftops, and even super compacted soil that create a barrier to infiltration. As impervious surfaces increase even a little, stormwater runoff increases dramatically. As runoff increases, groundwater reserves can become depleted and surface waters receiving the runoff become impaired. Read more

What's in a Catch Basin? And Why Does It Matter?

What's in a Catch Basin? And Why Does It Matter?

Catch basins are practically ubiquitous. You see them in every street and in every parking lot. Commercial properties even have them buried in their landscaping to capture roof runoff. They are our front line of defense against stormwater pollution, and maintaining them and the rest of the stormwater system regularly (at least once a year) is the most effective way to mitigate stormwater impacts to surface water and to reduce flooding due to blockages or damage. Read more

Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Low-Impact Development, Simplified.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Low-Impact Development, Simplified.

All of these pollutants entering our waterways and wreaking havoc on our aquatic ecosystems, recreation, drinking water, and fisheries industry...it's a bit daunting. To address it in a stepwise, systemic approach, everyone - and I mean everyone - has to be on board. In the meantime, both individuals and communities are embracing low-impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) as a cost-effective way to almost completely treat stormwater runoff before it hits surface and groundwater. As a result of significant improvements in water quality, we see an abundance of benefits, ranging from reduced water treatment costs to safe swim zones and recharged groundwater. And the use of GI/LID reduces discharge of polluted stormwater runoff to waterways by millions of gallons annually. Millions. Read more

Going with the (Stormwater) Flow

Going with the (Stormwater) Flow

A lot of the discussion around stormwater focuses on the types and amounts of pollutants -- both point source and non-point sources -- carried in stormwater runoff to surface water. While BMPs are primarily designed to treat or remove the pollution, they are also often designed to reduce the rate of flow of stormwater runoff entering and moving through a system. Read more

Stormwater Monitoring Requirements - Ambient Sampling

Stormwater Monitoring Requirements - Ambient Sampling

Phase I MS4s conduct ambient monitoring of surface waters, such as lakes, streams, and rivers, during normal (non-storm) events to establish baseline conditions, i.e., water quality without direct effects from stormwater runoff. While these conditions are considered normal, that is not to say impacts are not identified. In fact, several of the parameters measured and identified during ambient sampling events can only be a direct result of human impacts and are examples of residual impacts from stormwater runoff. The data also provide a reference point for wet weather conditions, i.e., a baseline to compare pre- vs. post-runoff water quality. Read more

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