Research is ongoing and vital. Stormwater practices must remain fluid, and change as new research sheds light on new methods of better management or runoff.

Happening Now at the Washington Stormwater Center

Click the above link to view research that is ongoing at the Washington Stormwater Center.

Research In the news

Moving toward an Implementation Strategy

A team of experts has been organized to develop a strategy for protecting and restoring water quality in Puget Sound streams. It is part of what state and federal agencies are calling “Implementation Strategies” to improve the health of key parts of the ecosystem. [See our earlier story: Implementation Strategies will target Puget Sound ‘Vital Signs’.] Leading the effort to develop the B-IBI Implementation Strategy is the Stormwater Strategic Initiative Team, made up of representatives from the departments of Ecology and Commerce along with WSU’s Washington Stormwater Center.

Read the full article posted by Encyclopedia of Puget Sound Magazine

Boeing Demonstrates Leadership in Stormwater Quality through Project with Washington Stormwater Center

Washington State University, and the Washington Stormwater Center announced today that they will collaborate to research and develop stronger permeable pavement through the use of recycled carbon fiber composite material.

Improving permeable pavement – a porous concrete or asphalt product that allows stormwater to seep into the ground instead of running off to waterways – has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a positive step to mitigating stormwater issues in Washington state. According to the EPA, permeable pavement improves water quality by reducing flow, filtering pollutants and returning water back to the water table.

Boeing is supporting the Washington Stormwater Center through a $212,000 research grant and donation of carbon fiber composite material. The grant will support research programs at the Washington State University (WSU) Research and Extension Center in Puyallup, Wash., and on the WSU Pullman campus.

Read the full article by PRNewswire.

KIRO 7 NEWS Reported- Researchers working on solution to toxic runoff

Updated: Oct 31, 2016 - 10:49 AM 
There was record rainfall in October this year, and all that rain caused local creeks and rivers to rise, but it’s not just rain that’s going into the water.

Cleaning up Water by Running it Through Dirt: WSU Puyallup's Jennifer McIntyre's research is highlighted in the NY Times

Storm runoff can be toxic to aquatic life, but a new study suggests a simple and relatively inexpensive solution: Filter the water through dirt before it enters streams, rivers or the ocean.

Researchers collected runoff from a busy four-lane highway in Seattle during six storms in 2011 and 2012. They tested the toxicity of water from the first five storms and found that coho salmon fry could not survive in it, nor could the mayfly and water flea larvae they feed on.

Read the full article by Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times.

Final Reports on Biorention from the City of Redmond Available now!

Analysis of Bioretention Soil Media for Improved Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Copper Retention

Monitoring data from several studies conducted in the western Washington region (Herrera2014a, 2015) indicate that some pollutants are exported from bioretention systems using the default bioretention soil media (BSM), most notably nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and copper (Cu). To address this concern, Herrera Environmental Consultants (Herrera) implemented a study in partnership with Kitsap County to improve BSM performance for the capture and retention of these pollutants. This study was funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) through the Municipal Stormwater Grants of Statewide and Regional Significance program (2013–2015 biennium)...

City of Redmond Six Swale Biroretention Monitoring

This study occurred in parallel to the Kitsap Column Study. It included six different full scale bioretention swales designed for the area that drain to them. Flow weighted composite sampling (TAPE style sample collection).

185th Avenue NE Bioretention Stormwater Treatment System Performance Monitoring

This was the first TAPE study of bioretention that exposed some concerns about the 60/40 mix and the constructability of bioretention with (at the time) current design guidance. Many design issues have been addressed with the current 2012 SWMMWW.

Other Documentation and Research

Pathogens in Urban Stormwater Systems

by The American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental and Water Resources Institute

The report is intended to help MS4 permit holders and watershed stakeholders develop effective and realistic goals and strategies for addressing pathogens. The report includes regulatory context for stormwater and pathogens, as well as chapters on pathogen sources, transport and fate, monitoring and source tracking, statistical analyses, source controls, structural controls, and bacteria TMDLs.

Read the full report.

]The City of Spokane received a GRSS Grant from the Department of Ecology to test products that frequently come into contact with stormwater for PCBs.

The final report presents some very interesting findings from this study. As a follow up to this, the City of Spokane is working with the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (SRRTTF) to further understand some of the major sources. In the short term, the SRRTTF plans to do more research on hydroseed. Additionally, the City recently passed a PCB-free purchasing ordinance similar to the state bill. The City will collect information from suppliers and perform a limited amount of sampling in an effort to find PCB-free (or at least lower-PCB) alternatives to products that we purchase.

To learn more, visit the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force website.

Contaminants in Western Washington Stormwater

The Department of Ecology has published a new report on stormwater pollution (with a quick summary of the data available as well).

From 2007 to 2013 eight municipal stormwater permittees (Clark, King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, and the ports of Seattle and Tacoma) collected the most comprehensive data set of stormwater chemistry in western Washington. These data, collected at discharges from residential, commercial, and industrial areas across wet and dry seasons, provide a robust baseline of stormwater chemistry for western Washington to compare to future monitoring.