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Study: To combat toxic algal blooms, focus on phosphorus

The results of an experiment spanning nearly a half-century at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) claim that if water stewards want to stem the growth of harmful algal blooms, they should focus on phosphorus rather than nitrogen. The discovery, made by the same research organization credited with identifying phosphorus as […]

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Stormwater practices fail to remove road salt

Road salts commonly used in the winter to melt ice and keep roads clear are not being effectively absorbed by mitigation measures, allowing the salt to reach groundwater and wells, according to Joel Snodgrass, professor and head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.). “Current stormwater management practices don’t […]

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Australian student invents award-winning stormwater mapping toolbox

When Esri (Redlands, Calif.) first released the ArcGIS spatial analysis platform in 1999, it empowered users to visualize abstract data in a way that put computer-assisted watershed planning (literally) on the map. Just under two decades later, the open-source platform now enables seamless map-sharing, intuitive rendering features, and has inspired a dedicated circle of coders […]

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Stormwater credit trading could ease Chesapeake Bay pollution, study says

Chesapeake Bay, the third-largest estuary in the world, has a chronic nutrient pollution problem. In 2010, gradual runoff pollution from more than 13.6 million people living in the watershed grew to national concern, prompting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set strict total maximum daily load (TMDL) regulations limiting nutrient emissions. Meeting those regulatory […]

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Removing fallen leaves can improve urban water quality

The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by more than 80% in Madison, Wis., according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Autumn leaf litter contributes a significant amount of phosphorus to urban stormwater, the study found. The USGS-led study, Evaluation of Leaf Removal as a Means To […]

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Chicago gives away trees to prevent flooding, help city wildlife

The emerald ash borer and extreme weather events have destroyed approximately 13 million trees in the Chicago area. To help remedy that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) staff began distributing more than 14,000 oak tree saplings. The distribution is part of Restore the Canopy, Plant a Tree in Cook County, Ill. […]

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University scientists develop artificial marshland to treat Louisiana stormwater

Scientists at Southeastern Louisiana University (Mandeville, La.) are using a relatively low-tech way of imitating natural marshland to help treat freshwater ponds contaminated by stormwater runoff. This marshland technology method is intended to improve water quality throughout St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. It is a component of the newly initiated stormwater management plan, which launched […]

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Port of Brisbane finds success in $1 million pollution prevention project

In early 2013, Cyclone Oswald tore through huge swathes of eastern Australia, causing some $2.5 billion (AUD) in damage across Queensland and New South Wales. The torrent deposited more than 1.8 million Mg (2 million ton) of agricultural contaminants, sediments, and nutrients into the Moreton Bay, highlighting a critical need for increased flood protection in […]

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Artificial islands help clean stormwater

Artificial islands help clean stormwater Floating islands in a Wisconsin stormwater retention pond are helping remove pollutants from stormwater. The article “Artificial Islands Cleanse Pollutants From Stormwater,” describes how the floating islands are built and function. The article — part of the column The Works, which focuses “on infrastructure in a rapidly urbanizing world” — […]

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ASCE seeks comments on three updated stormwater guidelines

The American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.) is seeking public comment on three updated guidelines: ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Design of Stormwater Impoundments, ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Installation of Stormwater Impoundments, and ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Operation and Maintenance of Stormwater Impoundments. The public comment period opened April 6 and will close on May 21, 2016. These […]

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