Article from our Perspective Volume 5, Quarter 4: A Sound Stormweather Solution
Did you know that MacDonald-Miller helps the aquatic habitat of Puget Sound? Since 2010, MacMiller pre-fabrication shop has been operating with a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, otherwise known as a SWPPP. Part of this plan includes quarterly stormwater sampling, testing, and reporting to the Department of Ecology. The stormwater leaving the shop yard is tested for six different pollutants with benchmark levels not to be exceeded. Because of the nature of our business, for two of the pollutants, zinc and copper, it was nearly impossible to reach benchmark levels.
After trying many different filtration systems with no improvement, including an experiment with oyster shells in the catch basins, it was clear we needed a hard-core filtration system to lower the zinc and copper in the stormwater leaving the yard. In partnership with stormwater consultant SoundEarth Strategies, a Grattix Box filtration system (originally designed by Matt Graves and Mary Mattix) was designed and built specifically for our site. In the summer of 2015, the MacMiller prefabrication shop yard at Norfolk looked like a construction zone! Jack hammers, backhoes, frontend loaders, oh my! Catch basins were piped together and a new vault, along with seven Grattix Boxes, was installed.
When the construction zone was cleaned up, the yard re-asphalted and the new pipes jetted and cleaned, we patiently waited for rain to test out the new system. When the rains came and the stormwater was tested it was obvious that the Grattix Box bio-filtration system was just what we needed, removing up to 51% of copper and 91% of zinc in the stormwater, putting those pollutants under benchmark. After two years in service the system continues to successfully remove all tested pollutants from the stormwater. MacMiller is doing its part to help preserve the aquatic habitat of Puget Sound.