Finding Ways to Save on Stormwater Utility Fees

The intent of new stormwater utility fees being implemented by the City of Roanoke  is twofold: New Revenue Source - Stormwater utility fees will provide revenue to fund stormwater improvement projects. These projects are geared to correct past deficiencies (undersized conveyance systems and/or flooding problems) and/or to implement stormwater quality improvement projects throughout the City. These improvements are necessitated by the City’s  new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations. Encourage Conservation Projects and Low Impact Development - Homeowners and businesses alike can implement best management practice (BMP) facilities on their property to mitigate the impact that development on their property has on local drainage areas and the entire watershed.. In an interview with Roanoke City engineer Phil Schirmer, he shares some of the ways that property owners can implement strategies to reduce their stormwater footprint and reduce the fee that they will pay to the City under new...

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Low Impact Design Examples on Display at Science Museum of Richmond

[caption id="attachment_886" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bioretention Area[/caption] As design professionals, many of us feel uneasy about the lack of data documenting stormwater BMPs performance. The data that is available shows a wide range of treatment efficiencies for the same types of BMPs and lacks completeness in documenting how design parameters, maintenance, and other conditions can affect performance. So it’s great to see that the Science Museum of Virginia, in cooperation with Virginia Tech and the City of Richmond, is pursuing several projects to expand the base of stormwater BMP knowledge. The Science Museum has installed the following: • two tree box filters • a bioretention area • a cistern • an area of permeable concrete • vegetated green roof [caption id="attachment_891" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tree Box Filter[/caption] These systems are equipped with instrumentation, including flow weirs and samplers to collect data. The projects are currently collecting data. If you are in the Richmond area, please visit the Science Museum and see...

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Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, EPA and Virginia Localities – Still Many Challenges

Virginia’s local governments, through the Planning District Commissions (PDCs), are in the process of providing information to DCR for the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL by the February 1, 2012 deadline.  The information includes a review of the modeling data used to evaluate cleanup of the Bay, an inventory of BMPs currently in place, and additional BMPs, strategies and resources needed to meet the 2025 level of implementation (60% reductions) required by the TMDL. The following article outlines the concerns facing Gloucester County as well as many other local governments including potential increased federal regulation if cleanup progress is not sufficient, reliance on the modeling results to make that determination, and the impact of wildlife on potential progress.  Given the continued struggling economy, local governments will likely have difficulty finding the resources, both monetary and personnel, to meet the required reductions.,0,3520340.story...

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Using Soil Compost Amendments to Improve Stormwater Management

Among the proposed BMPs in the Virginia BMP Clearinghouse is Number 4: Soil Compost Amendment. The intent of the measure is to deeply till compacted soils and restore their porosity by amending them with compost. Intuitively, this is a great idea. In my own experience on a small scale, a tilled topsoil layer, rich in organics, can accept a large amount of water. With my rain barrels at home, I can empty 40 gallons of water in 15 minutes into a landscape area less than 9 square feet. Also, I think most of us have seen that construction, particularly in tight sites, essentially destroys the existing soil structure that made it permeable. I think that this measure will see a lot of use when the new regulations go into effect, as it can be credited with as much as a 50% reduction in runoff volume and phosphorus. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignleft" width="300"]...

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What’s Happening with the Virginia Stormwater Management Program?

If you are trying to keep up with the latest changes associated with the draft Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations Parts I, II and III (4 VAC 50-60) please read on for a concise summary of where the regulations currently stand. ◊  Proposed Implementation Schedule USEPA issued final Chesapeake TMDL on December 29, 2010. General Assembly requires new regulations 280 days from final Chesapeake Bay TMDL – October 7, 2011. Localities have no sooner than 15 months and not more than 21 months after regulations are effective to adopt new regulations  or provide 6 months’ notice for the request to turn review authority over to DCR. The following are the highlights of the latest DRAFT of the regulation regarding water quality and quantity control,   The draft regulation can be found at   Note:  These are subject to revision by the Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP), DCR, and the General Assembly.   The next RAP meeting is...

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