Port of Astoria Implements Targeted Solution to Treat Stormwater
During the last quarter of 2014, MFA assisted 16 industrial facilities in Northwest Oregon with the selection and conceptual design of stormwater-treatment measures required for compliance with the Tier II corrective action requirements outlined in the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s industrial stormwater permits. Many facilities that discharged stormwater in compliance with the previous permit found themselves struggling to find best management practices (BMPs) that could be implemented to achieve the significantly lowered benchmarks in the new permit that became effective in late 2012. After a couple of years of intensive BMPs, such as pavement sweeping, roof coating, and constructing covers or moving materials indoors to minimize contact between stormwater and industrial pollutants, approximately 175 facilities realized that they could not meet the new benchmarks without treating their stormwater to remove pollutants before discharge.
Stormwater treatment can be expensive, as well as space- and maintenance-intensive, and selecting the right technology for the individual mix of pollutants can be a complicated task. MFA worked with the Port of Astoria, as well as the other 15 industrial clients facing the Tier II challenge, to select stormwater treatment that would not only reduce the stormwater contaminants to below the permit benchmarks, but also minimize cost and serve as an asset. The treatment measures proposed for reducing metals, suspended solids, and organics in the port’s stormwater will use a passive technology, minimizing operating and maintenance costs, and will turn a local waste product (shells from the port’s seafood-processing tenants) that would otherwise be disposed of in a landfill into a filtration medium that will improve water quality in the Columbia River. The port also plans to use a nearby waterfront trail to educate the public about water quality through installation of educational signs along the stormwater flow path. The signage will describe each step of the treatment process, educating residents and visitors about the new system.
To learn more about this innovative approach to stormwater treatment at the Port of Astoria, click the link below, where you will find a recent article published in the Daily Astorian:
Ada H. Banasik, PE