Originally presented at StormCon 2023.
Sediment basins are a common Best Management Practice (BMP) for minimizing sediment discharges and reducing peak flow rates from construction sites. Often times though, they do not function or provide the benefit for which they were designed. The status quo for the outlet structure in the sediment basin has been the perforated riser, but research from Penn State University has shown that this device removes less than 50% of suspended solids prior to discharge and does not properly control the filling of the basin to allow for gravity settling. Research conducted at North Carolina State University (NCSU) shows that using porous baffles can reduce the velocity of stormwater moving through the basin and increase settling efficiency. Additional research from NCSU shows that a properly designed sediment basin with stabilized side slopes, porous baffles and a skimmer outlet structure can reduce sediment discharges by 99%. More recently, research from Auburn University demonstrated how the combination of flocculants, baffles, and skimmer outlet structures can dramatically reduce the discharge of sediment laden water and increase environmental compliance. The Construction General Permit (CGP) requires permittees to control stormwater volume and velocity while minimizing sediment discharges from their site. Floating surface drains, commonly referred to as “skimmers,” meet this requirement and are an important component in sediment basins for reducing sediment discharge and slowing peak flows from construction sites. University research shows that incorporating skimmers into properly designed sediment basins can reduce suspended sediment discharges when compared to traditional basin designs utilizing bottom drains or perforated risers.
About the Presenters
Michael Brewer is the CEO of Faircloth Skimmer. Based in Hillsborough, NC, Faircloth Skimmer manufactures the best design, highest quality, and most specified sediment basin skimmer on the market. Prior to joining Faircloth Skimmer, he was the Executive Vice President at AQUALIS, a national post-construction stormwater management company. Whether it is creating comprehensive stormwater compliance programs or manufacturing products, Michael is passionate about improving water quality and is exited to bring his expertise to StormCon 2023.