Maryland is using smart ponds designed to help curb pollution and flooding.
Maryland’s transportation and environment departments are contributing $4 million to introduce smart ponds in four locations around Maryland, according to Technical.ly Baltimore.
The testing waters are ponds that sit on land owned by Walmart. The state government is also working with the tech company Opti and the nonprofit Nature Conservancy to introduce the IoT applications.
The storm water management technology reduces the amount of nutrients from storm water runoff that pollute water systems, including the Chesapeake Bay, and protects against flooding.
“It resonated for improving water quality. It resonated for being less costly to implement, and we jumped on a process of implementing the technology,” said Assistant Transportation Secretary Charles Glass.
The pilot uses sensors to monitor water levels and volume, while remotely controlling valves when water is released. The technology aims to reduce pollution in the runoff that makes its way out of the ponds. The ponds can also release water to prepare for rain, which could help reduce flooding downstream, reported Technical.ly Baltimore.
The technology can be operated manually from any device connected to the internet.
The Maryland Department of Transportation has been spending $150,000 an acre to treat roadways for nitrogen and phosphorous. The treatment is available for about $37,500 an acre, reported Technical.ly Baltimore.
The transportation department will receive credits from the Maryland Environmental Service for the cleanup, along with 20 years of operation and maintenance. If results from the pilot are positive, officials intend to expand to help other sites around the Chesapeake Bay watershed and perhaps even nationally, reported Technical.ly Baltimore.
“We will be able to expand this to our own properties, which would continue to lower the cost as we scale,” Glass said.