Innovative communities and consultants are working together to develop creative new solutions to reduce pollutants in the environment, while maintaining compliance with increasingly stringent water quality requirements.

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc has worked with communities to develop coordinated pollutant reduction approaches between their storm water and wastewater programs. For example, in order to meet permit requirements, wastewater treatment plant filters can be upgraded to reduce phosphorus in the effluent. When using a cloth filter in disk mode, the phosphorus removal mechanism involves adding a coagulant and polymer immediately upstream of the filter to convert soluble reactive phosphorus to a solid. The filter then removes the solids that contain the phosphorus.

For some municipalities, the upgraded filter may result in the wastewater treatment plant exceeding their phosphorus reduction requirement. If this is the case, the wastewater treatment plant may be able to trade these “phosphorus credits” to the storm water program to meet MS4 permit requirements.

Innovative initiatives such as this are a Win-Win-Win for the community!

  • Win: Increased cost effectiveness of pollutant reduction efforts through a consolidated approach.
  • Win: Benefits to the environment through improved water quality and enhanced natural habitat– making lakes and streams more fishable, swimmable, and enjoyable for residents.
  • Win: Improved community park and green space aesthetics through improved stream and lake aesthetics.

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Coordinated Approaches to Storm Water and Waste Water Solutions

To learn more about this "Win-Win-Win" approach, as well as other creative water quality solutions for storm water and wastewater, attend this seminar.

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About the Author

Maureen Schneider

Maureen A. Schneider
Project Engineer

Maureen is passionate about finding effective, efficient, and environmentally sustainable solutions to engineering problems. She has experience in the development of storm water management plans, stream restoration projects, regulatory permit processes, agricultural pollutant reduction program implementation, and other storm water quality improvement projects. Maureen has been with Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. since 2017.

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