Can tree bark filters be used to clean urban stormwater?

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April 29, 2014 by Art Eddy

Interesting project in Baltimore, Maryland. The treatment and control of stormwater in our urban settings is moving into the fore front of modern design and thinking. It is great to see sustainable alternatives in action for the treatment of stormwater that will provide monitoring and data to test their success. Should be interesting to follow.

People + Trees in Cities

I had a pretty exciting Earth Day. I spent the morning on assignment for the US Forest Service Northern Research Station documenting installation of a treatment device that uses filters filled with tree bark to clean urban stormwater.

The filter boxes were installed by the Parks and People Foundation under the guidance of their Green Infrastructure Manager Christina Bradley, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C. The crew was already on the job when I arrived, preparing the pre-treatment box for installation.

P&P prepping for first filter box

The filters are designed by the US Forest Service Forest Products Lab and use ponderosa pine bark pellets, as demonstrated here by USFS FPL’s David Eustice:

2014-04-23 09.46.56 pellets

The pellets fill cages that the water flows through for treatment. There are three cages of pellets in each treatment box:

2014-04-23 09.31.12 box with three filters

The water flows into the pre-treatment box and then into dual, side-by-side treatment boxes and to an outflow at the rear. The set…

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