Engineered soils capture pollution at its source
Luck Ecosystems, one of Luck Stone’s businesses that transforms raw materials into performance media, and ABS Materials have partnered to bring storm water cleaning BioMax media to customers in the Chesapeake Bay Region. The two companies will be working together to supply local architects, landscapers, designers, municipalities and builders with this new tool in storm water management, while supporting and educating them on how to improve their green infrastructure systems. BioMax media can enhance system performance by cleaning storm water, boosting plant growth and reducing nutrient content without losing infiltration efficiency.
Green infrastructure’s primary focus has been reducing the volume of storm water runoff flowing into wastewater treatment facilities. Storm water runoff passing over impervious surfaces often carries with it gasoline, antifreeze, and heavy metals from vehicle traffic, as well as pesticides, herbicides, and excess nutrients from lawns and agricultural fields.
“These pollutants have the potential to contaminate groundwater, and some of them can contribute to harmful algal blooms,” said Dr. Hanbae Yang, environmental and product engineer at ABS Materials. Algal blooms, caused by excess nutrient runoff, threaten the water supplies that many people depend on.
BioMax media, developed by ABS Materials, is an absorbent media specifically designed to capture and break down harmful storm water contaminants, increase plant growth and improve green infrastructure effectiveness. Yang and his team have been developing the media with help from the College of Wooster, Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research Extension, and the National Science Foundation.
In addition to capturing contaminants, BioMax media treats storm water by protecting soil biology and plant life, improving a bioswale, biofiltration system or other green infrastructure tools’ ability to process nutrients.
“Through our research, we’ve found that bioswales enhanced with BioMax Media show upwards of 35% more aboveground plant biomass than standard bioswales,” Yang said, “and these healthier, hardier plants provide better aesthetics, while taking up nutrients more efficiently than a standard bioswale.”
Supporting research has shown that the addition of BioMax media to a bioswale significantly reduces total nitrogen and phosphorus content in effluent. These enhanced bioswales also show a 99.6% reduction of runoff pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons and other organic contaminants, while still maintaining 99.9% reduction in runoff volume. The additional capabilities brought to the table by BioMax media further strengthen the overall effectiveness of green infrastructure, and will allow for a more thorough, low impact solution to storm water runoff.
With their partnership, ABS Materials, Luck Stone and Luck Ecosystems can now easily ship and deliver BioMax media to customers in Chesapeake Bay region, and the surrounding areas. They are also available to provide insight and expertise on many other green infrastructure and storm water best management practices. The companies hope that their partnership can help local storm water authorities solve tough environmental problems while exceeding industry standards for effective, cost-efficient, and eco-friendly water treatment.