Susan Moisio, conveyance and storage leader with CH2M, sheds light on the conditions and obstacles facing municipalities as they struggle with stormwater management.
Across the U.S., plans are being rolled out to control the flow of wastewater and prevent waterway pollution – or pay the consequence. Moisio explains:
“The challenges that our industry faces today with wet weather planning are regulations that are very strict ... [and] meeting those regulations with limited resources."
“We have to understand the drivers that are causing them to not meet the regulations, such as climate change, aging infrastructure … [and] limited funding.”
Moiso also identifies some tools and processes to overcome the challenges.
“You’re doing a high-level risk analysis. You’re looking at where you would have the consequence of failure and the likelihood of failure. …What would structurally fail? When do you think it would structurally fail? What would the impact of that failure be?
“Some of the tools that we use are a scoring system, so that we can look at each asset and we can come up with a structural and maintenance score, and then we can rank that asset, so that you get it replaced or rehabbed at the proper time, and most cost-effectively.”
The correct approach, she contends, is holistic:
“One of the challenges that we’ve had in our industry is that we’ve looked at the conveyance system as a separate entity. In order to meet challenges as we go forward, we’ve got to look at this as a system. …We’ve got to look at the receiving water, we’ve got to look at the ocean, the rivers, the creeks, and we’ve got to see how our conveyance system is interrelated with the treatment works.”
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