From Grey to Green to SMART
Although slow, stormwater management has seen an evolution over the past 20 years that has pushed us back towards drainage the way mother nature intended. After centuries of planners and engineers trying to control stormwater through grey infrastructure such as concrete channels, pipes and inlets, we are seeing that the long-term devastation and the costs are becoming too much to sustain. The promise green infrastructure has offered are new ways of returning both the quality of the water as well as the flow rates back to their predeveloped condition, and some of the early success has shown to be not only environmentally friendly, but also economically sustainable. This course will discuss sample projects where both stormwater management objectives, as well as economic objectives were accomplished through the use of Green Infrastructure. We will look a the impact on these systems not only on small storms, but many of the projects faired exceptionally well in major storms, including Hurricane Harvey.
While there has been great success in Green Infrastructure, a new era in stormwater management is emerging. As technology becomes less expensive, a few are looking at stormwater automation as the future. While still in it’s infancy, the idea of using artificial intelligence to control stormwater ponds and outlets structures is now very real. Imagine the ability to completely modify the hydrology of a site by simply automating an outfall weir and managing release rates to respond to real life conditions. Gone are the days of passive stormwater management. Not only will our outfalls be controlled, but our entire systems will be monitored. transducers, sensors, and camera's make it easier for us to get real time information on our storm water controls. Applications will allow for us to take pictures of our storm water ponds while thousands of miles away. Sensors will read pond temperatures and excessive pollutant loads, sending us information on potential Hazmat spills. Transducers will help us know when a pond might not be draining.
This will be a course on the evolution of stormwater management, from grey infrastructure consisting of storm catch basins, pipes and ponds, to green infrastructure consisting of permeable pavers and bioswales, to SMART infrastructure that allows us to automatically control our discharges and store performance data in the cloud. David Batts with Construction EcoServices will walk us through the evolution of grey infrastructure, green infrastructure and what is going to be, SMART infrastructure and look at how SMART infrastructure will work with the two latter drainage methods to solve our future drainage problems.