YOUTUBE VIDEO: Green Infrastructure Takes Stormwater Management ‘Back to the Future’ – Andy Reese, engineer and writer

Andrew Reese sees stormwater management going "back to the future" faster than a 1982 DeLorean with a "flux capacitor." Even if you don't get his clever reference to the Steven Spielberg movie, it suffices to say: Big changes are coming out when it comes to regulating pollutants in stormwater. And, it turns out, mimicking nature with green infrastructure can provide a reliable means of meeting new standards.

NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER: Australia in need of fresh approaches toward urban drainage and urban design

City of Melbourne Councillor Aaron Wood nominated water sensitive urban design as a means by which to manage flood and other risks as a critical part of the city’s push to become more sustainable. Melbourne and other Australian cities had in the past been excessively reliant upon large scale engineering solutions to flood risk management, taking an approach that required the construction of large drainage systems beneath city streets, said Wood.

“In the City of Surrey, an absorbent landscape that slows, sinks and spreads rainwater is becoming a requirement for new development,” states David Hislop, Upland Drainage Engineer

“Soil depth is a primary water management tool for use by local government to adapt to a changing climate. A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Soil is a sponge. It holds and slowly releases rainwater. This can limit runoff during rainy weather; and reduce irrigation water need during dry weather. In the City of Surrey, we specify a minimum soil depth of 300 mm," states David Hislop.

Flashback to 2006: Research Report on Decentralized Stormwater Source Controls Defined the State-of-the-Practice for CSO Reduction

"Capturing rainwater where if falls offers appealing technical alternatives to stormwater runoff capture than conventional end-of-pipe measures. Decentralized controls have the potential to reduce the frequency and volume of CSO events. In addition, a decentralized approach to stormwater management allows communities the flexibility to respond to everchanging economic and environmental conditions," stated Neil Weinsten.

Are Rain Gardens Mini Toxic Cleanup Sites?

“Rain gardens are being embraced worldwide because they do their job so well. The worry is that these same, very efficient rain gardens that are cropping up in our parking strips and front yards are doing their job so well that they could become residential toxic sites. But in fact are they? Not according to the research that’s available," writes Lisa Stiffler.