• 7 Fast, Affordable Ways to Fight Stormwater Pollution
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel CSP, CET, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 25 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 200 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Environmental health and Safety Trainer (CET), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), OSHA-Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She serves on the Blair County, PA LEPC. Her specialties include a wide variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, risk management, DOT and NIMS topics. She conducts trainings and seminars at national conferences and webinars for several national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • Maggie Allensays:
    09/06/2016 at 7:03 pm Reply

    I really like that there are so many different options for taking care of stormwater drainage! It sounds like my yard could use some good trays in it to help with all of the water we get. Unfortunately, my yard doesn’t slope enough to get rid of stormwater in an efficient way. However, since there is a lot of asphalt in my yard, a tray could definitely be used.

    • Karensays:
      09/16/2016 at 2:37 pm Reply

      Hi Maggie,

      Great conclusions! Trays can certainly be helpful, but need to be checked and emptied regularly to prevent standing water from becoming stagnant. Adding landscaping features, such as shrubs and bushes, can also help soak up stormwater.

      Good luck!


  • Jesse Jamisonsays:
    01/27/2017 at 12:44 pm Reply

    I like the idea of using absorbent booms to keep oil and other harmful chemicals out of municipal retention ponds. This area is one of my favorite places to go on walks in the city. I would hate to see anything happen to it. I assume that the city already does something to keep these things out. I assume the booms would be a good way of making sure it works, though.

    • Karensays:
      02/06/2017 at 1:58 pm Reply

      Hi Jesse,

      You are correct to assume that your city probably already does something to keep harmful pollutants out of the municipal retention ponds. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA charged states with the responsibility to identify waters within their jurisdiction and create plans that prevent pollution and help restore impaired waters. The states, in turn, get help from each of their municipalities to make sure that plans and procedures are in place.

      Most often, the city or county will refer to this as a “Stormwater Management Program.” Using absorbent booms to collect any free oils floating on water can certainly be part of that plan, but there are also many other pollutants that your municipality may also need to plan for, including solids like dirt or twigs, nutrients like nitrogen and chemicals that rob the water of oxygen.

      If you’d like more information on EPA’s Stormwater Management Regulations, check out our series that provides the background as well as requirements that businesses must follow to help limit pollutants from entering waterways.


  • Eloisasays:
    06/22/2017 at 11:01 am Reply

    Great post and it’s good to know the affordable ways to fight Stormwater pollution. I love the concept of the Absobent Booms and I think it’s effective in attracting oil while repelling water. The Drain Inserts is great too because it will take care of the debris. I think everything on the list is great. This post will help a lot of people.

    • Karensays:
      06/30/2017 at 10:57 am Reply

      Thank you for your kind remarks. It is great to know that there are a lot of options to help facilities and first responders fight stormwater pollutants. Absorbents booms are a great tool for quick response to oil spills that may enter retention ponds, small creeks and other environmentally sensitive areas. However, if oil could spill into rapidly moving waters or to any body of water subject to tides, containment booms may be a better option.


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