[Greenbuilding] Toxic Materials in Roof Runoff

Erin Rasmussen erin at trmiles.com
Fri Aug 15 16:41:14 MDT 2014


Hi John, 
There are a couple of different schools of thought with stormwater
filtration and control, there are engineered solutions and green
infrastructure or low impact development solutions. So that means using a
combination of preventative measures (e.g. restricting pollutants on the
store shelves street sweeping ) and remediation technologies (filtering,
phytoremediation, pump and dump with coagulants) and integrating low impact
development techniques (infiltrating rainwater in suburban and 'clean' areas
of the watershed) and integrating sweeping and other bmps with bio-filters
of various sizes in areas where there's more heavy traffic and pollution.  

Responsibility for water contamination, is an area where there are some
pretty high profile lawsuits, and I'm unqualified to make any guesses. I
know in my region that the water quality is administered by my local city on
behalf of the federal EPA, and individual stormwater permit holders are
required to put together a plan for remediating problems with their own
stormwater effluent.

For the person just getting into stormwater remediation, an internet search
for "Low Impact Development" pulls up a set of good ideas.  There are a
variety of techniques, and it helps to work with someone who has experience
building good systems to develop something that is appropriate to your
property.  Simple steps like reaching out to your local water utility can
generate some good ideas.  Make sure you have a plan for infiltrating water
from your roof and any concrete or impermeable areas on your property in
addition to a rain garden.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Erin Rasmussen
erin at trmiles.com 

-----Original Message-----
From: Greenbuilding [mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org]
On Behalf Of John Salmen
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:17 PM
To: 'Green Building'
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Toxic Materials in Roof Runoff

Tall buildings...small roofs. Maybe Corbusiers vision of high buildings and
parks was not such a bad concept.  Meanwhile I think we are still trying to
figure out acid rain.

What is the state of the art for stormwater filtration and control and who
is becoming liable - especially long term contamination?

john

-----Original Message-----
From: Greenbuilding [mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org]
On Behalf Of Erin Rasmussen
Sent: August-13-14 4:24 PM
To: 'Green Building'
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Toxic Materials in Roof Runoff

I was at a stormwater conference.  I could have shared the studies that also
look at Copper and Zinc from cars, but it's the green building list.... so I
assumed you would prefer the one about roofs.   

Copper and Zinc from roofs comes up quite a bit in stormwater run-off, and
the allowed limits here in the US have dropped quite a bit especially for
industrial permit holders.  In this context, understanding the contribution
to run-off from the roof material becomes more important,  especially for
businesses that have to cope with levels of Zinc flowing off their roofs at
levels that exceed the maximum levels.  Washington State Dept of Ecology has
several studies looking at sources of metal toxins, and also ambient
airborne toxics.  

Part of the problem may be that fairly obvious point that metal dust from
cars doesn't stay on cars or roads, it can also become airborne and join a
variety of other airborne contaminants that stormwater managers, business
owners and others have to cope with. So the problem for city managers
becomes one of trying to determine the most effective methods of control. (I
just saw some really good statistical analysis of this from the city of
Tacoma, if anyone cares). 

And you know, it's not just the folks in the US that worry about metals and
other pollutants in water.... 

 - Erin 



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