Archive for June, 2013

City of Atlanta Stormwater Ordinance

June 9, 2013

The City of Atlanta Council recently passed a new Post-Development Stormwater Ordinance that seeks to change the way the city and its residents approach stormwater management.  Rainwater collection can be an integral part of any plan.  Ecovie has the expertise to work with any property owner to develop and execute a comprehensive stormwater plan.  First, here is some background on the new ordinance.

One of the key revisions in the Atlanta stormwater ordinance encourages use of “Green Infrastructure” practices in an effort to reduce the amount of stormwater that leaves a site due to urban runoff.  This is done by giving incentives toward the use of green infrastructure in lieu of traditional retention or detention methods.  The result is to indirectly reduce capital cost for projects to incentivize adoption of green infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure applied to stormwater management is a way to manage urban storm-water which seeks to mimic the natural hydrologic cycle through on-site pervious infiltration techniques as well as evapotranspiration through a number of specific methods, one of which is active rainwater collection which is Ecovie’s speciality.   I encourage you to take a look at this presentation which explains the various types of green infrastructure approved by the new ordinance.  Click here.  Also, the Ecovie website has some good information on this topic.  Click here.

Other methods include having bio-retention zones, rain gardens, permeable pavement, green roofs, and other infiltration techniques. The idea is to maximize the use of water on site. Ecovie employs these methods in conjunction with active rainwater collection by simply directing tank overflow to landscaped retention zones.

The green infrastructure approach is different than the diversion approach to managing stormwater which has been the norm for the past several decades.  Diversion means getting water off your property as fast as possible.  Retention, which is an interim step, seeks to keep water on site in retaining ponds.  Green Infrastructure is about keeping as much of the stormwater on-site and treating it properly through passive and active systems using methods that are visually appealing and positively affect the way we live.

Passive systems such as bio-retention zones, rain gardens, detention ponds, permeable hardscape, and vegetated swales are all ways that to reduce urban flooding increases aesthetic appeal and promote urban sustainability.  However active systems such as an above or underground collection system can also reduce flooding, increase sustainability but also it can capture water which can be used at the property owner’s discretion.

Active green infrastructure systems such as a rainwater cistern can help not only to manage stormwater on site, but it can give citizens more control on where and when the water is used on their property.  Where a bio-retention zone and permeable pavement reduce stormwater runoff and provide water to landscape areas when it rains, they’re potential is limited because the water can’t be used at a later time for either outdoor or indoor applications.  With an active collection system such as an Ecovie Rainwater Collection system the captured water can be treated and used again for outdoor irrigation, indoor toilet flushing, power washing, drinking water, laundry usage etc.  Thus when determining which green infrastructure approach is better in comparison, we at Ecovie feel that an active collection system gives the consumer a win-win situation because it is environmentally friendly, monetarily cost-effective, and the water can be used under the property owner’s own control.

Ecovie works with local contractors and developers to apply the green infrastructure elements of the new Atlanta stormwater ordinance in a way that is site specific and best meets the goals of the particular project.  Rainwater collection is just one of the green infrastructure solutions that we use.