Water Resource Recovery in Stormwater?


This is an interesting question, as stormwater typically does not have point source concentrations of nutrients in it like wastewater does.  But not all stormwater is created equal.  Just look up-watershed and track the potential nutrient loading that could be happening.  For example, is the up-watershed region heavily farmed?  In such a setting there is likely to be surges of nutrients.  Say a storm event coincides with farm field fertilizer application.  Or a flood irrigation system is inadvertently mishandled.  And about a million other mishaps can explain why the downstream storm water pond occasionally becomes a flat-out carpet of algae.  The occasional burst of phosphorus, and nitrogen too, makes management of stormwater ponds particularly challenging.

The BioHaven Water Resource Recovery (WRR) system could help here.  It might not be as optimal as wastewater lagoons in growing landscape trees and plants, or forage fish like the fathead minnow, but they will still grow and perform, all the while tying up those inevitable nutrients.  From our perspective, for the Water resource recovery system to make sense, it must pay for itself with actual revenue.  Clean(er) water is a byproduct.  We believe this is fundamental for several reasons, the primary of which is that its difficult for public officials to justify spending the volume of money needed to fix water, in the face of so many other pressing demands for that money.  If we are really going to fix water, the water resource recovery system should do the following;

  1.  Generate Revenue sufficient to show a reasonable ROI.
  2.  Be aesthetically pleasing.
  3.  And do this without creating a large O&M burden.

A system that pays for itself and looks good, without being a terrific management challenge, will apply to stormwater.  The payback period may be a bit longer than in wastewater, but maybe that’s ok.  Show us your inflow nutrient loads and we can model your solution, which includes a spreadsheet calculation that describes payback associated with that waterway. Check out our Stormwater page.