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Norfolk Tag

Putting the LID on Stormwater Runoff

The following post is provided by guest blogger Thomas Powers, P.E., LEED AP, CFM, CPESC, A Project Manager with Wight & Company in Chicago Illinois and former colleague of The Inlet's Carolyn Howard. [caption id="attachment_688" align="alignleft" width="234" caption="Thomas Powers, PE, LEED AP, CFM, CPESC"][/caption] How many gallons of rain do you think falls each year on just one acre of land in Norfolk, Va.? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? Would you believe more than one million? Unfortunately, most of that water isn’t absorbed by the land and instead becomes stormwater runoff, carrying debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks urban runoff and storm-sewer discharges as the fourth most prevalent source of impairment of our lakes, streams and rivers. The current best practices in stormwater management is called low impact development (LID), which refers to a comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach that emphasizes conservation and the use of...

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A Perspective on Stormwater Utilities

In a recent opinion letter to the Richmond Times Dispatch, former Secretary of Natural Resources, L. Preston Bryant Jr. highlighted the critical role that localities play in the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Controlling runoff from agricultural land, improving sewage treatment plant discharge, and urban stormwater runoff are the three primary contributors to the bay pollution. Mr. Bryant indicates that implementing a stormwater utility has been and will continue to be a method for localities to deal with this concern. Having worked with the City of Staunton, Virginia on the implementation of their stormwater utility, I can attest to one of the big challenges that Mr. Bryant brings up in his article, namely, that they are not popular with the public. As seen through stories, of both successes and failures, from municipalities in Virginia and throughout the country, public education is the primary key in implementing and maintaining a...

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