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© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Taking out the Trash:
Setting achievable trash discharge reduction goals
and measu...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
What is Trash?
Litter means all improperly discarded waste material, including, bu...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff
Characteristics of Gross Solids
 Components
o M...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Sources of Trash
 Discharges from Privately and Publically
Owned Storm Drains
 D...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Nurdles and Crumbles
Styrofoam “Crumbles” Viewed as
Fish Eggs by Fish and Waterfow...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff
Coyote Creek - San Jose
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff
Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore Anacostia Watershed ...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff
Algalita Marine Research and Education estimates...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Marine Debris Biodegradation Timeline
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
LA River and Ballona Creek Watersheds
10
• 834 square mile watershed
• 55 mile lon...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Regulatory History
 1960’s Water Quality Control Plans (Basin Plans) WQO and Proh...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Trash Discharge Goal: Zero
Los Angeles River Trash
TMDL established that
receiving...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Full Capture Systems
 Any single device or series of devices certified by the exe...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Partial Capture and Institutional Controls
 An alternative compliance pathway for...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
2013-2014 Trash TMDL Compliance Status
15
Compliance summary by method of complian...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Factors adding uncertainty to these estimates:
 Lack of uniformity in reporting m...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
 Receiving water monitoring not required
 No direct measurement of trash dischar...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
LA River Trash Cleanup
18
Trash and debris removed from the
Los Angeles River at t...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
 Annually removes about
6,000 tons of trash and
debris total including
4,500 tons...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Trash and debris removed from Ballona
Creek at the Lincoln Blvd bridge trash
boom
...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Coastal trash clean-up data near Ballona Creek
Location
Total Items Collected
2010...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
 Full capture system operation and maintenance issues
 Full capture system desig...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Full Capture System Performance
23
Direct Screening vulnerabilities
• Over $100M s...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Full Capture System Sizing
24
Issue: The full capture system standard requires sys...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Issues:
 Permittees tend to focus on publicly owned catch basins
 Windblown tras...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
Issue:
 Receiving water monitoring has not been conducted, so there
is no direct ...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
 More robust maintenance records should be collected and
provided on request incl...
© 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC
 Efforts in the Los Angeles area to control trash are
commendable and are having ...
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Taking out the Trash: Setting achievable trash discharge reduction goals and measuring progress toward meeting them

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A presentation given at StormCon 2015 on the issues surrounding trash discharge reduction goals initiatives in the greater Los Angeles area.

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Taking out the Trash: Setting achievable trash discharge reduction goals and measuring progress toward meeting them

  1. 1. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Taking out the Trash: Setting achievable trash discharge reduction goals and measuring progress toward meeting them StormCon 2015 Austin, TX Vaikko Allen, CPSWQ, LEED-AP Director of Regional Regulatory Management Contech Engineered Solutions vallen@conteches.com
  2. 2. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC What is Trash? Litter means all improperly discarded waste material, including, but not limited to, convenience food, aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and other natural material and synthetic materials, thrown or deposited on the lands and waters of the state, but not including the properly discarded waste of the primary processing of agriculture, mining, logging, sawmilling, or manufacturing. -California Government Code Section 68055.1 Litter is human derived trash such as paper, plastic, Styrofoam, metal and glass greater than 4.75-mm in size -ASCE – EWRI Guidelines for Monitoring Stormwater Gross Solids
  3. 3. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff Characteristics of Gross Solids  Components o Mass – Sediment – 30%, Vegetation – 56%, Litter – 14% o Volume – Sediment & Vegetation- 75%, Litter – 25%  Floating trash is ~80% of air dried volume and ~20% of wet mass of all trash Percent Litter in Gross Pollutants Land Use Mass (Air Dried Litter) % Volume (Air Dried Litter) % Mass (Wet Litter) % Volume (Wet Litter) % Freeway 2.6 – 3.70 23.67 – 34.30 5.9 – 13.45 14.2 – 31.15 Commercial - - 16.33 7.59 – 51.06 23.84 10.68 - 45.90 HDSFR - - 3.77 2.35 – 5.90 9.64 - 51.02 Source: “Estimates of the Actual Trash Capture Effectiveness of Catch Basin Inserts Reported by the City of Los Angeles”, Roger James, February 14, 2012, Compilation of studies conducted by Caltrans, UCLA, Monash University, Los Angeles Baseline Trash Loading monitoring
  4. 4. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Sources of Trash  Discharges from Privately and Publically Owned Storm Drains  Discharges from Small Creeks to Larger Creeks, Rivers and Flood Control Channels  Homeless Camps  Intentional Dumping Onto Banks and Into Creeks and Flood Control Channels from Private and Public Property  Wind Blown Trash from Highways and High Generation Land Uses Like Flea Markets and Sporting Events Into Channels or Creeks Adjacent to Those Land Uses  Recreational users
  5. 5. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Nurdles and Crumbles Styrofoam “Crumbles” Viewed as Fish Eggs by Fish and Waterfowl “Nurdles” - Pre Production Resin Pellets Adsorb and Concentrate Toxic Chemicals
  6. 6. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff Coyote Creek - San Jose
  7. 7. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore Anacostia Watershed – District of Columbia
  8. 8. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Gross Solids in Stormwater Runoff Algalita Marine Research and Education estimates that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of trash weighing 268,940 tons circulating in the world’s oceans Every time it rains, stormwater runoff transports more trash and debris from our urban areas into receiving waters California alone spends $480 Million on trash control activities annually Los Angeles River
  9. 9. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Marine Debris Biodegradation Timeline
  10. 10. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC LA River and Ballona Creek Watersheds 10 • 834 square mile watershed • 55 mile long river • 33% impervious • 130 square mile watershed • 10 mile long river • 49% impervious
  11. 11. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Regulatory History  1960’s Water Quality Control Plans (Basin Plans) WQO and Prohibitions Addressed Gross Pollutants  EPA approved 303(d) list in 1996 with Ballona Creek and Los Angeles River impaired by trash  Los Angeles River Trash TMDL  Initial TMDL adopted for Los Angeles River in September 2001, set aside in June 2006 and current TMDL adopted and incorporated in Basin Plan in August 2007  September 2016 – Compliance with “Zero” Numeric Target  Ballona Creek Trash TMDL  January 2004 TMDL adopted  September 2015 – Compliance with “Zero” Numeric Target Los Angeles Region NPDES Permit  Adopted December 13, 2001 and amended September 2006, August 2007 and April 2011 with Tentative Order pending  Applies to 84 cities and Los Angeles Flood Control District and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County  Included Trash Effluent Limitations (Waste Load Allocations) for each entity derived from Baseline Trash Load Monitoring Program  Included criteria for “Full Capture System” and for Executive Officer certification of devices  Compliance with Effluent Limitations achieved if all areas served by adequately sized and maintained certified Full Capture Systems and maintenance records are available  Partial capture devices (devices not certified by EO) and institutional controls (street sweeping, public education, catch basin cleaning) allowed for compliance with interim Effluent Limitations when documented by monitoring Daily Generation Rates  Entities required to prioritize inlets and areas for trash generation and specified frequency of catch basin cleaning and street sweeping  Detailed reporting of device installation, drainage areas, trash removed and compliance Regulation of Trash Discharged from MS4s In Los Angeles Area
  12. 12. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Trash Discharge Goal: Zero Los Angeles River Trash TMDL established that receiving waters have no assimilative capacity for trash and therefore the only defensible effluent discharge limit for trash is “zero” “Full capture systems” established as a BMP based alternative to strict compliance with zero trash effluent limits 12
  13. 13. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Full Capture Systems  Any single device or series of devices certified by the executive officer, that traps all particles retained by a 5-mm mesh screen and has a design capacity of not less than the peak flow rate Q resulting from a one-year, one-hour storm in the sub-drainage area.  The full capture system must be regularly inspected and serviced to continually maintain adequate flow through capacity.
  14. 14. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Partial Capture and Institutional Controls  An alternative compliance pathway for those areas where full capture systems are infeasible  Primarily catch basin inlet excluders and increased street sweeping  Also, product bans and substitutions, education, enforcement, adding and covering trash receptacles, catch basin cleaning, etc.  Permitees must have evidence to support any claimed reduction
  15. 15. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC 2013-2014 Trash TMDL Compliance Status 15 Compliance summary by method of compliance – Ballona Creek Ballona Creek (96.7% reduction target)  3 permittees compliant  1 permittee non-compliant  7 permittees undetermined Los Angeles River (90% reduction target)  11 permittees compliant  11 permittees non-compliant  11 permittees undetermined
  16. 16. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Factors adding uncertainty to these estimates:  Lack of uniformity in reporting metrics for partial capture and institutional controls pathway  Inadequate reporting/audit of O&M for full capture systems Trash TMDL Compliance Status 16 Self Reported TMDL Compliance Status (2013-2014) Watershed Claimed Reduction (%) Remaining Load (ft3) Remaining Load (tons)* Los Angeles River 80% 11,414 48 Ballona Creek 90% 1,273 5.3 *Assumes 8.4 lbs/ft3 average trash density
  17. 17. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC  Receiving water monitoring not required  No direct measurement of trash discharge rates has been undertaken  Indirect trash load reduction assessment is possible o Beach cleanup records o In-stream trash and debris removal records o In stream sampling o Maintenance records of downstream cities Receiving water response 17
  18. 18. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC LA River Trash Cleanup 18 Trash and debris removed from the Los Angeles River at the Ocean Boulevard bridge trash boom Year Tons 2008-2009 1,090 2009-2010 945 2010-2011 1,098 2011-2012 1,162 2012-2013 1,125 2013-2014 1,200 Photos – LA River Trash Boom, Seal Beach: From LA Times 2010
  19. 19. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC  Annually removes about 6,000 tons of trash and debris total including 4,500 tons from shorelines  Estimated 95% comes from the LA River  Operates a trash net downstream of the trash boom that captured 405 tons of material between 2004 and 2008 City of Long Beach
  20. 20. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Trash and debris removed from Ballona Creek at the Lincoln Blvd bridge trash boom Year Tons 2006 38 2007 44 2008 46 2009 27 2010 21 2011 2 2012 42 Ballona Creek Trash Cleanup 20
  21. 21. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Coastal trash clean-up data near Ballona Creek Location Total Items Collected 2010 2011 2012 2013 Dockweiler State Beach at Imperial Hwy 8,943 19,676 11,192 6,120 Dockweiler State Beach at Playa Del Rey 9,552 10,980 7,991 2,044 Venice Beach at Rose Avenue 8,914 1,197 10,243 1,364 Total 27,409 31,853 29,426 9,528 Prior rain year precipitation (in) 16.36 20.2 8.7 5.93 21
  22. 22. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC  Full capture system operation and maintenance issues  Full capture system design and deployment issues  Trash entering receiving waters through alternative pathways Factors contributing to the gap 22 Photos: LA Times
  23. 23. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Full Capture System Performance 23 Direct Screening vulnerabilities • Over $100M spent on catch basin level controls in the region • Evidence mounting that “direct screening” systems are prone to clogging and bypass • Widespread catch basin insert replacement required after initial few years of service • Operation and maintenance costs can be exorbitant if done as needed in high trash generation areas Solution: • Adjust inspection frequency based on historic observations • Maintain on-line systems when 25% full or when screen in 25% blocked • Clean the screen at every maintenance event • Require photo documentation of inspection and maintenance
  24. 24. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Full Capture System Sizing 24 Issue: The full capture system standard requires systems to be sized to treat runoff from the 1-year, 1 hour rain event • BMPs in catchments with shorter times of concentration are undersized • BMPs in catchments with longer times of concentration are oversized Solution: • Use the actual time of concentration of the catchment area • Reference the NOAA point precipitation data series for local rainfall intensity data
  25. 25. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Issues:  Permittees tend to focus on publicly owned catch basins  Windblown trash, animal vectors are difficult to control  Homeless encampments in waterways, direct dumping are significant contributors Solutions:  Include private drains, consider end of pipe systems that can capture all upstream inlets  Perform MS4 discharge monitoring  Coordinate with public service agencies to reduce residency in waterways Trash from “other” sources 25
  26. 26. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC Issue:  Receiving water monitoring has not been conducted, so there is no direct evidence of progress Solutions:  The LA River and Ballona Creek Trash TMDLs were amended in 2015 to include receiving water monitoring  In stream surveys with trash nets and plankton nets have been conducted in the past and can be resumed  Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Protocol (SWAMP) for “Rapid Trash Assessment” provides a quick and repeatable means of gauging progress Receiving Water Monitoring 26
  27. 27. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC  More robust maintenance records should be collected and provided on request including before and after photos  Maintenance frequency should be customized based on inspection results  Compliance should only be claimed when BMPs remain in good operating condition  Partial capture system crediting should be checked with receiving water monitoring Compliance Reporting 27
  28. 28. © 2015 Contech Engineered Solutions LLC  Efforts in the Los Angeles area to control trash are commendable and are having a significant positive impact  The “full capture system” compliance pathway is a viable alternative to showing “zero trash” in receiving waters but could be improved  Beware of long term O&M costs and challenges  Some trash sources are not controllable via stormwater programs  There is no substitute for receiving water monitoring  Program longevity and funding depends in part on public support which requires demonstration of results Summary 28

A presentation given at StormCon 2015 on the issues surrounding trash discharge reduction goals initiatives in the greater Los Angeles area.

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