Bringing Biofiltration into the Mix

By Jeff Fullmer, Fabco Watershed and Regulatory Services Coordinator

88Fabco recently entered into an agreement to distribute an innovative product known as Focal Point that utilizes biofiltration as an effective means to remove pollutants from stormwater while being consistent with the objectives of Green Infrastructure (GI) design.  Frequently on the jobsite, the engineering challenge is combining effective pollutant removal with high flow rates in a confined space. The Focal Point biofiltration system  is designed to do just that.

The growing application of GI strategies for stormwater management has provided an important catalyst for the evolution of successful biofiltration techniques.  Current GI strategies prioritize keeping stormwater runoff out of piped conveyance systems which outfall directly to surface waters or are part of a combined (sanitary wastewater and stormwater) system. These combined systems can chronically overflow creating combined sewer overflows (CSO) when excessive stormwater volume enters the system in a short period of time.   Removal of priority stormwater pollutants through pre-filtration techniques has historically been a secondary priority when addressing CSO’s.

The advent of “engineered” soil media for filtration purposes combined with high infiltration rates allows for greater flexibility when designing projects to both retain stormwater on site and to reduce CSO’s while effectively removing stormwater pollutants prior to infiltration or water harvesting.   Going a step further, the use of manufactured filtration devices such as catch basin filter inserts can be combined with biofiltration systems to insure that the most effective filtration of stormwater is achieved. This “treatment train” approach, is representative of the evolution of stormwater management strategies and Fabco is proud to be a part of it.