EverGreen Site Solutions monitors stormwater infrastructures in the Middle TN area.
What happens when it rains? It sounds like a simple question, but the answer is far more involved than most people realize.
When I was in 5th Grade my class went on a field trip to see the Cumberland River, and we had a great view of it too, as we were riding aboard the well-known riverboat - General Jackson. The funny thing, though, is that I don't remember anything about the river. What I remember most about that field trip is that all my friends stayed in the cabin rather than going out on deck because no one could stand the odor coming from the river.
This is what happens when it rains: water builds up on parking lots, on rooftops, on roads, on industrial facilities, on farms, in residential subdivisions, and everywhere else. When the natural ground cover has reached capacity, it begins to runoff into our creeks, rivers, lakes, and ultimately the ocean. When it runs-off, it carries with it everything around it.
When stormwater runs off the metal roof of your local grocery, it takes with it zinc which disrupts the reproduction cycle of amphibians. When stormwater runs off parking lots, it takes with it oil and grease killing the natural vegetation in streams and wetlands. Probably worst of all, when stormwater runs off residential subdivisions, it takes with it all that excess fertilizer from those beautiful lawns. That fertilizer is rich in Phosphorous and Nitrogen, and once it arrives in the local waterbody it can cause the algae to "bloom". When the algae eventually dies the decomposition process uses up dissolved oxygen in the waterbody killing most of the aquatic life. These are just 3 examples, but the impact that stormwater runoff has on the local environment cannot be minimized.
There are a number of ways that governments address this issue, but most typically, it involves working within the development process. When a property is developed or re-developed, a civil engineer such as myself, must assess the environmental regulations and then design the appropriate stormwater infrastructure to address it. This is typically accomplished through the addition of bioretention ponds, extended detention ponds, sand filters, proprietary products, or other types of best management practices.
After construction is completed, the property owner is given a Maintenance Plan for these best management practices that they are responsible for in perpetuity. Unfortunately, many times property owners are not aware or do not understand what these structures are and how they should be maintained, as a result, they are often neglected and cease to function. Eventually, the City will inspect the systems, if they have been neglected for too long, they will most likely have to be rebuilt, and this can be extremely expensive. That’s where we come in. These facilities need maintenance, but over-maintenance can be equally expensive.
EverGreen desires to provide you with a more efficient approach by monitoring your systems and identifying the most optimal time to do maintenance. We deliver this to you 2-3 times a year in the form of a report that is stamped and sealed by a professional engineer licensed to make these kinds of determinations. Because most municipalities require annual “self-reporting”, this report can check that box for the owner as well. Simply send it in to the City, or if you like, we can take care of that for you, as well. When maintenance does need to be performed, you can be confident that the recommendations we provide will get your systems back into compliance at the lowest possible cost. However, if you truly want a "worry free" solution, we can take care of that as well by providing ongoing maintenance with our trained staff.
Recently, I was back in Downtown Nashville. It has been 30 years since that field trip. I witnessed people paddle boarding on the Cumberland River, but its not the same river from my childhood. The ecology of the river has been transformed from an eye-sore into one of Nashville's most valuable amenities. It is a source of incredible pride for me to know that I have played a small part in that. It shows what we, as Americans, can do when we work together.
So what happens when it rains? A lot. But if I do my job correctly - you and your business won't ever have to think about it because it will be taken care of for as long as you own the property.
Give us a call, we’ve done this before.