Cleaning Up

Oct. 14, 2013
Virginia city keeps pollutants from entering the Chesapeake Bay
The city of Fredericksburg, Va., was established along the banks of the Rappahannock River in 1728. Today, this historic city sits on a hillside and attracts a plethora of tourists to its thriving downtown district full of shops and restaurants. 
Kevin Utt, the site development manager with the city of Fredericksburg, contacted ACF Environmental with a problem—a large storm water catch basin in the downtown area needed protection. This catch basin was releasing captured pollutants directly into the Rappahannock River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  
“Being at the bottom of the hill, this inlet is exposed to all types of debris—anything from tree foliage to the basic floatables that come with any urban area,” Utt said. 
David Kelley of ACF Environmental, located in the neighboring city of Richmond, Va., suggested Utt install a Trash Guard over the outlet pipe in the catch basin. This cost-effective screen device is designed to capture trash, debris and sediment. In fact, published studies have shown that on average, the Trash Guard retains 700 to 1,000 lb of debris per catch basin annually. In addition, it has proven to remove phosphorous, nitrogen, regulated metals and other pollutants.
“The Trash Guard performed above my expectations, particularly in the removal rates of additional pollutants,” Utt added. “The product gives a true indication of just how much material can make it to the river.”
The product was an appealing option for Utt not only because of its track record, but he, like most other municipalities, was operating under a strict budget. Not only did the low cost of the unit save money, but the Trash Guard also increased the maintenance intervals by using the entire catch basin as the containment area.
“The cost factor of the Trash Guard for removal of pollutants is awesome compared with other types of practices for water quality,” Utt said.