Last week, Contech Stormwater Solutions installed at Newport Beach, California’s Fashion Island the above stormwater filtration vault, which will block pollutants from flowing into the ocean. Besides removing harmful chemicals from our waterways, this particular Newport Beach solution contains 2xGreen, a “green concrete,” comprised of industry byproducts of fly ash, slag, silica fume, and other materials to replace Portland cement. The benefits of this green concrete is that it reduces permeability, is stronger, and cost effective. In addition 2xGreen’s anticipated life span is over 100 years.
The Company supplied the following environmental facts about this installation:
Dimensions of the Vault: 24 feet x 11 feet x 7 feet
Tons of 2X Green concrete: 77
Immediate C02 reduction: (compared to ordinary concrete) 4 tons
Overall C02 reduction: (due to extended service life of the product) 14 tons
Vehicle equivalent: 3 cars
General facts on Cement:
The manufacture of 1 ton of cement produces about 1 ton of CO2
2.5 billion metric tons of cement are produced each year
Most of the C02 is produced from manufacturing of Portland cement
In total, cement production is responsible for about 7 percent of the world’s C02 emissions
A 10 percent replacement of cement with Supplementary Cementing Materials would save more than 200 million tons of C02 annually, an amount equivalent to the emissions produced by 40 million vehicles.
Despite its obvious environmentally friendly make-up, the “guts” of a Contech Stormwater Solution can filter out such environmental pollutants such as oil, total suspended solids (TSS), grease, soluble metals, ammonium, and such organics as PAHs and phthlates depending on the filtration media.
The Storm Management Storm Filter, which cleans storm water through a patented passive filtration system, was used at the Fashion Island. The ZPG media used in the cartridges is a blend of Perlite, Zeolite, and Granular Activated Carbon aimed at the elimination of expected pollutants from trash, debris, total suspended solids (TSS), heavy metals, oil, grease, and nutrients.
So, how does it work?
During a storm, runoff passes through the filtration media and starts filling the cartridge center tube. Air below the hood is purged through a one-way check valve as the water rises. When water reaches the top of the float, buoyant forces pull the float free and allow filtered water to drain.
After the storm, the water level in the structure starts falling. A hanging water column remains under the cartridge hood until the water level reaches the scrubbing regulators. Air then rushes through the regulators releasing water and creating air bubbles that agitate the surface of the filter media, causing accumulated sediment to drop to the vault floor. This patented surface-cleaning mechanism helps restore the filter’s permeability between storm events. (Contech Filtration Products)
Pictured above is a typical panel vault illustrating how storm water is filtered. There are many different configurations of this system from prefabricated catch basins to panel vaults. In addition, there are various cartridge heights as well to fit a particular site. See here for different filtration options. The Company states that the benefits associated with this system is the reduction in excavation costs and its compact design limits land disturbance.
Replacement of the filters is recommended about every two to three years unless there is excessive rainfall, which could cause earlier replacement of the filters. According to the Company, the Storm Filter is the only proprietary treatment system which has been field tested and approved for stand alone use by the following: Washington State Department of Ecology, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and City of Sacramento Storm Quality Improvement Program. Given my own experiences while working as a real estate attorney, Contech’s approval by the NJ DEP of its system as a stand alone application is quite an accomplishment.
Contech has clearly demonstrated a winning strategy in reducing stormwater pollutants utilizing green concrete.
- Porous Pavement for Cold Climate Storm Water Management
- Green News for 09.06.10 Cement Eating C02, Smart Meters, and Green Mom Social Study
- Green Concrete: Limestone Building Exterior Made of Beer Bottles
- Green Building Masonry Block Solution via Watershed Materials
- AirKrete Fire Proof Foam Insulation: Peace of Mind with Lower Energy Bills