General Announcements

Tracking CA's Trash: On-land Visual Assessments

Evaluation of the On-land Visual Assessment Protocol as a Method to Establish Baseline Levels of Trash and Detect Improvements in Stormwater Quality

  • 21 March 2017
  • Author: Geoff Brosseau
  • Number of views: 4819
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This report is one of three technical reports of Tracking California's Trash – a Proposition 84 Storm Water Grant Program project funded in large part by the State Water Board.  BASMAA and its project partners – 5 Gyres, City of Fremont, City of Oakland, City of San Jose, San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP), and Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP) provided the match funds.

The primary objectives of the project were to:

  1. Develop and test scientifically sound and cost-effective stormwater and receiving water trash monitoring methods that allow agencies to measure sustained, long-term water quality improvements over time.
  2. Fill critical information gaps on the effectiveness and costs/benefits of implementing specific stormwater BMPs (e.g., street sweeping) that address trash.

This report presents an evaluation of a monitoring protocol (on-land visual assessment (OVTA)) to assess the levels of trash on land (streets and sidewalks) that could reach storm drain inlets as a surrogate for trash discharged from stormwater conveyances.  Although several studies have predicted or quantified trash discharges from stormwater conveyance systems, none appear to have attempted to empirically measure reductions over time from this specific trash transport pathway.  In the Los Angeles region, trash reductions are currently based on the geographical extent of trash control measure implementation and predetermined trash reduction values for each type of control measure implemented.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, trash reductions in stormwater are calculated using three methods.  The first two are equivalent to the two methods used in the Los Angeles region (i.e., areas treated by full capture systems and the results of agreed upon control measure specific studies).  The third, on-land visual assessment, is currently Bay Area specific.  The OVTA is a qualitative protocol that results in observations of trash levels on streets and sidewalks in specific assessment areas.  The protocol assumes that the level of trash that is observed on streets and sidewalks is consistent with the level of trash discharged by stormwater conveyance systems.  Quantitative monitoring and OVTA assessments were conducted at seven study areas located in the cities of Fremont, Oakland, and San Jose, California.  Quantitative monitoring activities included the removal of trash from streets, sidewalks, and storm drain inlets.  The trash collected was characterized in terms of weight, volume, and item counts.  Quantification events were supplemented with qualitative OVTAs conducted before, after and between street sweeping, and before and after rainfall events.  In addition to OVTAs conducted as part of the project, the results of approximately 3,100 OVTAs conducted at roughly 1,200 assessment sites by SCVURPPP and SMCWPPP were utilized to address the project monitoring questions.

 

Tracking CA's Trash: Creek Monitoring Report

Testing Trash “Flux” Monitoring Methods in Flowing Water Bodies

  • 21 March 2017
  • Author: Geoff Brosseau
  • Number of views: 2417
  • 0 Comments

This report is one of three technical reports of Tracking California's Trash – a Proposition 84 Storm Water Grant Program project funded in large part by the State Water Board.  BASMAA and its project partners – 5 Gyres, City of Fremont, City of Oakland, City of San Jose, San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, and Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program provided the match funds.

The primary objectives of the project were to:

  1. Develop and test scientifically sound and cost-effective stormwater and receiving water trash monitoring methods that allow agencies to measure sustained, long-term water quality improvements over time.
  2. Fill critical information gaps on the effectiveness and costs/benefits of implementing specific stormwater BMPs (e.g., street sweeping) that address trash.

This report presents information on developing, testing, and evaluating monitoring methods designed to accurately calculate trash loading rates in stormwater conveyance systems and receiving waters that vary in type, size, flow, and location.  Standardized and reproducible monitoring methods to empirically measure trash loading (i.e., flux) in either stormwater discharges or receiving waters have not been available.  A literature review was carried out to analyze existing methods and projects that monitored trash within water bodies.  The review found that few municipalities and entities in the U.S. have attempted to evaluate concentrations and loads of trash discharged in receiving waters.  The biggest source of references was from studies designed to monitor plastic pollution in marine environments, mostly at sea.  Methods used during the project were based primarily on NOAA’s Marine Debris Monitor and Assessment Document, Algalita’s River Los Angeles Study, and 5 Gyres’ global estimate that compiled data from multiple partners to determine a global estimate for plastic pollution.  These studies suggested that using multiple trawls to capture samples of plastic pollution floating on the surface of a water body, with some focus on what is in the water column, would be the most successful approach.  Therefore, methods described in these studies were modified to capture trash samples in receiving waters to accommodate the higher flows observed in rivers, creeks, and channels during wet weather events.  Monitoring methods were evaluated in four creeks (three in the Bay Area: Colma Creek, Coyote Creek, and San Mateo Creek and one in Los Angeles: Arroyo Seco, a channelized river in Pasadena).  

BASMAA Biotreatment Soil and Tree Roundtable Summary: Improvements for the Health of Trees

  • 7 October 2016
  • Author: Geoff Brosseau
  • Number of views: 2534
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The Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit Order No. R2-2015- 0049 (MRP) Provision
C.3 mandates that Regulated Projects meeting certain impervious surface area thresholds
include low impact development (LID) stormwater treatment measures in the project design.
The current MRP biotreatment soil specification (biotreatment soil) required to be used in LID
stormwater treatment measures (e.g. bioretention areas, tree well filters, etc.) consists of a 60-
70% sand/30-40% compost mix. This mix was specified to: 1) ensure long-term biotreatment
soil permeability of 5 inches per hour; 2) sustain healthy, vigorous plant life; and 3) maximize
stormwater runoff retention and pollutant removal. The complete specification may be viewed at
http://basmaa.org/

 

On June 30, BASMAA convened a biotreatment soil and tree round table to review the current
soil specifications to determine if improvements to the specification can be made to positively
impact the health of trees planted in biotreatment areas. Participants at the Roundtable
included numerous stakeholders: Municipal representatives, compost providers, soil suppliers,
soil laboratory technicians, civil engineers, landscape architects, soil scientists, construction
inspectors, and Water Board representatives.


BASMAA Literature Review - BSM Specs-Current Research on Trees and WQ Treatment

  • 7 October 2016
  • Author: Geoff Brosseau
  • Number of views: 2017
  • 0 Comments
Provision C.3 of the Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) requires that biotreatment (or
bioretention) systems use biotreatment soil media (BSM) that meets the minimum specifications
of the BASMAA BSM Specification. Like other municipalities around the country, the BASMAA

Specification requires the BSM to be a mixture of sand and compost.

Fact Sheets - Small Development Specifications

Single Family Home

  • 17 June 2016
  • Author: michael test
  • Number of views: 2348
  • 0 Comments
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