Washington State Study to Measure Effectiveness of Stormwater Technologies
Systems for removing toxic substances from stormwater runoff will be
installed in three state boatyards in a new research project beginning
the first week of October, the Washington state Department of Ecology
The effort aims to protect water quality in Puget Sound and other
nearby waters. The project was constructed in an agreement between the
Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), the Puget Soundkeeper
Alliance and Ecology).
The stormwater pilot project, which kicks off Oct. 5, studies the
new technology-based treatment in three boatyards to control levels of
copper, lead and zinc found in the facilities' runoff into nearby
bodies of water. Rain and surface water that runs through boatyards
picks up debris from the yard and the surrounding areas. Copper, a
metal used in boat paint to deter plant and animal growth on boats, is
of critical concern, state officials said. Studies by the National
Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service have
shown that dissolved copper harms the sense of smell in juvenile salmon.
Manufacturers of the treatment equipment will install a different
technology in each of the three boatyards to reduce the levels of the
toxics in their stormwater runoff. The Port of Edmonds boatyard will
receive a system using passive adsorptive filtration from Stormwater RX
in Portland, Ore. CSR West in Ballard will use technology installed by
Water Tectonics of Everett called electrocoagulation, a process by
which electromagnetic energy separates metals from water. Canal
Boatyard in Ballard will process toxics using ionic exchange through a
system installed by Siemens of Vancouver, Wash.
The project partners plan to issue a report on the studies' results
in March 2008. The technology which produces the best results, the
system which removes the greatest amount of contaminants from
stormwater efficiently, may serve as the recommended solution for
boatyards across the state.
Organizers of the project believe that the technology from this study could be applied to other industries around the region.
"I'm proud that the boating industry is doing its part to clean up
Washington waters," said Michael Campbell, NMTA president. "Not only is
this a tremendous step forward for our industry, but it may also
encourage other industries to address the runoff from their own