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New Jersey stormwater protocols change the game

Holden, MA - Nov 5, 2012 -

New Jersey stormwater protocols change the game

New rules create opportunities for better performance evaluation, reliable data and
more cost-effective testing of stormwater technologies

HOLDEN, MA – While technology for treating suspended solids in stormwater runoff continues to advance, the lack of common testing protocols has made it difficult to accurately gauge performance and select appropriate solutions. That has changed with New Jersey’s long-awaited new protocols for testing of stormwater solids removal devices, which include hydrodynamic separators and filter devices. 
The state’s new rules, which are pending final approval, will provide a less expensive and more streamlined process for testing and evaluating stormwater technology. The standardized protocol for complex testing of stormwater devices will not only save manufacturers time and money, it will produce much more reliable and accurate results in testing and provide design engineers with better data for performance evaluation. It’s a change that could set the standard for other parts of the country.
What’s changing and why does it matter?

·         The new protocols will go beyond “what” needs to be done to stipulate “how” it should be done. Stormwater device testing in controlled lab settings is a complex process, and without standard guidelines to follow, laboratories doing this testing have been using different testing methodologies. But under the new protocols, all testing must now follow the same methodologies and complete the same required tests. For the first time, achieving an 80% removal result at one laboratory means that the same test on the same device should produce a repeatable 80% removal rate at another lab.

·         Maximum treatment flow rate will be based on scour. Performance data that includes calculations for bed scour will now set the bar for determining 100% storm treatment flow for hydrodynamic separator devices.  Previously, 100% storm treatment calculations were based more on solids removal efficiency without fully accounting for impacts of the turbulence that can create movement and fluidity of the bed and allow materials to escape. The new protocol will help to more accurately predict the technology’s performance in the field.

·         Independent observers will be approving all in-house testing. If manufacturers are conducting in-house tests, those tests must be approved by an independent engineer who meets the state’s requirements as an impartial observer. Alternately, manufacturers may outsource their testing to independent laboratories certified by the state.
It’s clear that these more stringent and detailed requirements will not only level the playing field for manufacturers, but will result in a more accurate assessment of the performance and efficiency of stormwater management devices. Design engineers will now have the reliable, proven data they need to confidently select the best value and appropriate device for their needs. New Jersey's detailed and stringent stormwater testing protocols offer a solid model for other jurisdictions across the nation to follow.