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LABORATORY VERIFICATION OF HYDROCARBON CONTROL BMPs: AN ETV CASE STUDY

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The requirements of various federal, state, and local regulations for storm water treatment have created an increased demand for storm water treatment devices, commonly referred to as structural Best Management Practices (BMPs). As a result, a number of new products have come onto the market. Many of these companies make claims about performance efficiencies that are not verified through independent testing. A problem for regulators and end users is determining the performance characteristics and treatment capabilities of these devices without prior testing. Reliable performance data are often not available, and since many of these devices are new, they lack information generated from long-term field-testing. Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment devices that may be used in applications for meeting potential BMP or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements is an essential step in meeting regulatory requirements.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has implemented the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program to accelerate marketplace acceptance of commercially available innovative technical solutions to problems that threaten human health or the environment. A primary goal of the ETV program is to disseminate high quality data to prospective purchasers of treatment devices. NSF International (NSF, formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) has partnered with the USEPA to develop programs for verification of a variety of water treatment technologies. Testing protocols and plans are developed with the input of stakeholders, which can include technology vendors, regulators, the scientific and technical community, and/or users of a particular technology. Verification testing is conducted by Testing Organizations with demonstrated technical expertise. Final Verification Reports are made publicly available on the USEPA's website.

NSF is currently performing testing of an in-drain treatment BMP device under the auspices of the Source Water Protection Program, which is part of ETV's Water Quality Protection (WQP) Center. The BMP to be verified is the Hydro-Kleen™ Filtration System, which is designed for use with storm water catch basins and area drains to trap hydrocarbons, metals, sediments, and other storm water and surface runoff constituents. Testing consists of challenging the device with wastewater spiked with constituents the device claims to treat, as well as constituents that could have an effect on the devices treatment capabilities. Collecting and analyzing samples of influent will verify the contaminant removal efficiency of the device and effluent flows. This testing is conducted in a controlled indoor laboratory, using a synthesized wastewater formulated specifically for ETV verification testing.

Testing in a laboratory environment offers a significant number of advantages over field-testing. ETV testing not only verifies the effectiveness of the device, but also validates the effectiveness of the testing procedures outlined in the verification protocol and test plan. By completing this ETV testing, NSF anticipates verifying the efficacy of the device will also validate the use of laboratory testing procedures as a method of obtaining reliable data with “real world” implications and uses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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