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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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Vermont Releases Draft Required Agricultural Practices for Improving Water Quality

On October 28, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) released draft required agricultural practices (RAPs). These rules would, for the first time, apply to small Vermont farms. The rules are intended to control and reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution and nutrient losses from farm fields to surface and groundwater. The goal is […]

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Floating Islands To Help Protect Jamaica Bay Shorelines

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is using floating, vegetated wave attenuators in Jamaica Bay. The attenuators are part of a pilot project to study the efficacy of deflecting and reducing wave energy to protect critical salt marsh wetlands. The 2-year pilot program will cost approximately $500,000 and will inform future shoreline protection […]

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WERF Report Summarizes Agricultural BMP Data

The Water Environment Research Foundation, the National Corn Growers Association, and the United Soybean Board recently completed the third phase in the expansion of the International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database. The database, which compiles studies and analyses of BMP performance, now includes agricultural BMPs. The long-term goal of the Agricultural BMP Database is […]

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NOAA Releases Living Shorelines Guidance

On Oct. 28, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines. The agency encourages the use of living shorelines to protect sheltered coasts — those not exposed to open ocean wave energy — from intense storms, erosion, and sea level rise. Living shorelines include a range of shoreline […]

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