May Meeting Annoucement

DATE:    Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
SPEAKER:  Torrey Lindbo, City of Gresham
TOPIC: Retrofitting Stormwater Injection Facilities to Protect Groundwater Resources

Drywells, which are technically referred to as Underground Injection Control (UIC) devices, have been used for decades by numerous jurisdictions throughout Oregon to manage stormwater.  The City of Gresham own and operates 1,100 public UICs, some which have been in place since the 1960’s. While UICs have been around for a long time, the permits that regulate their operation and the scientific understanding about risks to groundwater that the permits are designed to protect are relatively new.


Prior to receiving their Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) permit in January 2013, the City of Gresham began working on a variety of projects to ensure that the UICs they own would be protective of groundwater and meet/exceed the requirements they anticipated could be in the permit they were finally issued.  Groundwater protection is extremely important in Gresham, as a large portion of the area where UICs are used to manage stormwater is within the city’s wellfield protection area.  Prior to making changes or retrofits to UICs, the city did the following:

  • – Manhole lids were added to 140 UICs that were constructed before having access was the public works standard;
  • – Stormwater data and geological data were collected to model subsurface pollutant fate and transport;
  • – Groundwater borings were made to determine depth to groundwater in areas the USGS data didn’t seem to align with field observations;
  • – Any drywell suspected of having the bottom depth within 10 feet of seasonal high groundwater was cleaned and the depth measured;
  • – The locations of all public and private wells (drinking, irrigation, other) was field verified to determine the horizontal distance between UICs and the wells.

Based on system-wide information gathered through this process, the city was able to develop a master plan to focus on correcting some of the issues identified.  The groundwater protectiveness modeling work identified 5 UICs that did not have adequate vertical separation from groundwater and horizontal separation from nearby wells – the final project to correct those UICs is currently under construction.  In addition to “fixing” these UICs that did not comply with the WPCF permit, the city also worked on fixing issues with UICs that had been identified as having capacity issues, as well as adding spill containment as pre-treatment for 110 UICs that were determined to be high risk.  The city recently just completed work on most aspects of this project, so Torrey will be sharing his experience trying to understand the city’s system and make informed decisions to protect groundwater, while also taking advantage of UICs as a means to infiltrate stormwater in the urban environment.

Torrey has spent the past nine years working on stormwater management in the City of Gresham’s Department of Environmental Services. The Water Sciences group he manages is responsible for managing stormwater, streams and natural resources within the city.  Much of his time is spent on regulatory issues related to permits issued to the city for surface water (NPDES MS4) and groundwater (Water Pollution Control Facility for UICs). Prior to coming to the city, he spent 11 years running a watershed monitoring program at Portland State University. He has a Masters in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute.

April Meeting Announcement

DATE:    Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
SPEAKER:  Scott Wells, PSU
TOPIC: Is the Dead Sea Dead?

scott wells 2

The Dead Sea is a terminal lake and is the lowest water body on the earth’s surface. As a result of historic changes in inflows to the Dead Sea, water levels are now receding at more than 1 m per year. There have been many proposed solutions to the ‘dying’ Dead Sea such as reinvigorating the Jordan River by bringing in desalinated water from the Mediterranean Sea and pumping sea water from the Gulf of Aquaba. Water quality impacts on the Dead Sea were evaluated for the latter solution by constructing a suite of mathematical models of the circulation and chemistry in the Dead Sea. Will these proposed ‘solutions’ save the Dead Sea?

Bio: Scott Wells, Professor Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Portland State University

He has a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate and undergraduate degrees from MIT and Tennessee Technological University. His current research focus is environmental fluid mechanics: modeling of surface water quality and hydrodynamics and solid-liquid separation processes. He has written over 100 technical publications.

He has been involved in well-over 100 water body studies throughout the United States in Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Idaho, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Montana, New York, Colorado, and Florida. He has also been involved in projects in Canada, Guyana, Peru, Brazil, China, Ukraine and Israel/Jordan. He has received 2 Fulbright scholar awards, one to the Ukraine working on the Dnieper River and the other to Israel where he is continuing to work on a computer simulation model of the Dead Sea.

He is a co-author of the water quality and hydrodynamic model, CE-QUAL-W2, used throughout the world for hydrodynamic and water quality modeling studies. He has been actively involved in studies for local, state and federal government as they work on improving water quality in surface water systems and in understanding the environmental impacts of reservoirs and how to manage water quality in surface water systems.

EWRG March Meeting Announcement

DATE:    Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
SPEAKER:  Amber Clayton
TOPIC: Portland’s 2016 Stormwater Management Manual

smmm pdx 2016This presentation will discuss the goals of the proposed 2016 revisions to the City’s SWMM, key highlights to look forward to, and a summary of the public comment and adoption process. A draft proposed SWMM will be released for public comment in April. The public comment period for proposed changes will be April 4th through May 2nd. Highlights of the 2016 SWMM revisions include:

  • – System-specific stormwater requirements that reinforce the existing stormwater infiltration and discharge hierarchy
  • – A new Presumptive Approach Calculator interface
  • – Updated stormwater facility design criteria and typical details
  • – Separate Source Controls (previously Chapter 4) into its own administrative rule

Amber Clayton is the City of Portland Environmental Services Stormwater Management Manual Program Manager.  She has 15 years’ experience in stormwater and watershed management, including public-private partnerships, stormwater facility design and construction, and stormwater-related regulatory policy.  She is currently leading the Bureau’s effort to update the Stormwater Management Manual.