Sep 11, 2013

SWEMA Joins WEF Steering Committee

The committee will investigate establishing a program to evaluate storm water treatment devices

SWEMA WEF Steering Committee Storm Water Products Testing

The Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (SWEMA) is currently participating in the Water Environment Federation's (WEF) Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) steering committee to investigate establishing a national program to evaluate manufactured storm water treatment devices. The STEPP initiative was triggered in part by the ending of the only national evaluation program for these technologies, the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program.

"SWEMA members are serving on WEF's STEPP task force because it is imperative that there be a national testing program to validate products used for storm water management treatment systems," stated Laurie L. Honnigford, managing director of SWEMA. "This centralized clearing house will be more efficient for engineers and public employees than having many regional or state groups struggling to maintain a patchwork of local programs that often lack technical and scientific rigor. SWEMA seeks to ensure that storm water best management practice (BMP) testing methodologies are uniform and consistent. This way, all stakeholders who rely on these programs can be assured that products or alternative practices which have undergone these tests have been properly evaluated and performance verified."

STEPP is meeting periodically to investigate the feasibility and to formulate a plan for the make up a national program. "SWEMA agrees with the WEF consensus that there is a need for a national, standardized testing and verification program for both proprietary storm water devices and public domain BMPs," Honnigford continued.  "We, as an industry, are looking forward to the task force's white paper exploring the need for a national program that will be presented during WEFTEC 2013 in October."

Heading up SWEMA's efforts on the WEF STEPP task force are Ryan Janoch of Terraphase Eng. Inc. (Oakland, Calif.) and Chris French of Filterra Bioretention Systems (Ashland, Va.)

"There are certainly many challenges in storm water management," Honnigford said, "but being unsure of the performance and longevity of a product or storm water treatment practice should not be one of them. That is why we would like see a strong national program and performance data base that can be easily access by all storm water stakeholders."