While flooding is preventable through effective stormwater solutions, floodwaters are still regular problems for known flood-prone cities like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as other locales throughout the nation. In fact, only a few inches of rain in the Baton Rouge area were needed last May 9th to fully submerge several streets in floodwaters, which was aggravated two days later when water levels rose even higher to fill up parking lots and make cars crawl through ponding water.

Stormwater Management

If only Baton Rouge and other flood-prone communities had innovative stormwater management solutions like StormChamber by HydroLogic Solutions, heavy rains and storms wouldn’t be so threatening. Take the city of Dyer, Indiana, for instance, which has proudly kept its streets dry since major improvements to its stormwater systems were implemented in the early 80s and 90s.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now taking a more active stand. As Bloomberg correspondent Nora Macaluso reports:

“Requirements that municipalities use green infrastructure as part of their stormwater management practices are becoming more common in local and state permitting procedures and regulations, an Environmental Protection Agency official said.

The EPA itself often incorporates water-quality measures into consent agreements it reaches with municipalities on combined sewer overflows, Bob Newport, a stormwater specialist with EPA Region 5, said at a May 9 conference on green infrastructure […].

Some localities are revamping codes and ordinances to allow for green infrastructure, removing language that sets mowing requirements or expanding landscaping rules to allow for features like bioretention, which allows stormwater to be captured in vegetated areas where it can seep into the ground naturally instead of being funneled into the sewer system […].”

Aside from this endeavor, the EPA also actively participates in numerous stormwater management conferences, such as the upcoming StormCon 2014 to be held in Portland, Oregon this coming August. The conference is set to tackle numerous related topics on stormwater management to be discussed by the nation’s leading experts on storm and surface-water quality.

Annual gatherings like Portland’s StormCon aim to bring together municipal and government officials, contractors, site inspectors, civil engineers, educators, EPA officials, property executives, and other water quality professionals under one roof to focus on several urgent matters that concern effective stormwater runoff management in the country with the end goal of minimizing incidents of flooding in almost all American cities.

Featuring more than 150 sessions presented by leading experts, the StormCon will mainly focus on topics like green infrastructure, urban retrofit, BMP case studies, program management, and erosion & sediment control among others – aptly providing an excellent opportunity for professionals and officials to learn from the best, as well as from each other.

(Source: EPA Pushes Cities toward Better Stormwater Management, Bloomberg, May 13, 2014)