Storm Water Terms & Information

Earth or other materials used to replace that which is removed during projects, such as pipeline trenches and retaining walls.

Biological processes represent a group of unit processes in which organisms transform or remove pollutants, known as biotic processes. Biological systems serve one or more functions in various storm water collection technologies such as protector of the collection surface from erosion, enhancer of infiltration rates, and remover of pollutants.

Coagulation is a unit process in which settling is improved by the agglomeration of small particles into larger particles, by altering the settling velocity of particles.

As growing urban centers have sprawled into the countryside, the ability of the natural drainage network to serve in a multifunctional capacity has been overwhelmed. In fact, impervious cover has grown at a rate five times greater than the population, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General’s Office.

Densification of soil by mechanical processes. Drainage Team has several large pieces of compaction equipment to ensure trenches are backfilled and compacted properly.

Water that drains readily from the soil by gravity.

Storm water regulations are an out growth of the 1972 Clean Water Act and 1987 Water Quality Act, which established new standards and schedules for industrial and municipal storm water. Known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), this national permitting program controls pollutants discharged into surface water such as lakes, ponds, streams and even the ocean. Beginning in the early 1990s, Phase I of NPDES required that cities with populations of more than 100,000, as well as large industrial and construction sites, begin treating storm water runoff from sites. In December 1999, Phase II of NPDES was announced and required that more than 5,000 municipalities and all new developments one acre or larger implement storm water treatment best management practices (BMPs) to the maximum extent practicable.

According to the EPA, “states report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effects of nonpoint source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.

To address these impacts, the EPA developed a federal program under the Clean Water Act to regulate storm water discharge from industrial facilities, construction sites and municipal sewer systems. This program is the foundation for state and municipal storm water management programs and guides the permitting process and water quality standards within each state. The EPA has also established the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program to manage water pollution to water bodies that are not meeting federal water quality standards.

Beyond the national regulations, state, county and municipal regulations are constantly evolving. It is because of this flux that every business faces complex storm water challenges. Some states require businesses and developers to treat storm water only to that “maximum extent practicable” standard set forth by the EPA’s Phase II regulations. Other states and municipalities have taken storm water treatment even further and have implemented specific requirements. Proof of performance for storm water treatment systems also varies widely across the U.S. Some states require third party testing to approve a manufactured BMP and others require only the manufacturer’s lab testing.

Tile portion of a structure that distributes the pressure of the structure to soil or artificial supports. Foundations are usually below ground level.

Gravity separation is a unit process in which gravity removes suspended solids and attached pollutants, floatables, and dispersed petroleum products. Removal is downward for solids denser than water (sedimentation) and upward for solids lighter than water, such as petroleum byproducts and litter (flotation). Vortex or hydrodynamic separation is another form of gravity separation.

As growing urban centers have sprawled into the countryside, the ability of the natural drainage network to serve in a multifunctional capacity has been overwhelmed. In fact, impervious cover has grown at a rate five times greater than the population, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General’s Office.

Free water in the soil, the top of which establishes the water table.

Hard, impervious surfaces such as driveways, patios and sidewalks.

Vegetative cover and surface roughness of a soil which may affect runoff.

The measure of how easily water can pass through soil or rock.

The rate of water’s ability to pass through a material.

A material’s inability to allow the passage of water under normal hydrostatic pressure.

The downward entry of water into soil or other materials.

The lowest point of a pipe or channel.

Improvement of the natural beauty of the land.

Area where the water from a drainage system will collect and soak into the soil in most rain situations.

Movement of water in the soil towards the water table.

Rate of downward movement of soil water. Can be measured by the drop in water level in an augured hole.

Of particular importance is the need to compare collection technologies, and to evaluate the effectiveness of design criteria. To be useful, the data must be gathered following a sound technical protocol, in a manner that allows comparison with other facilities. Choosing the Right Solution; the most suitable storm water management system designs are often a combination of approaches that take into account local economic, political and environmental concerns.

The rate of water’s ability to pass through a material.

The ability of water to pass through a material under ordinary hydrostatic pressure.

Materials with many small openings, through which water may pass.

The rate at which rain falls. Expressed in inches per hour.

Rainfall that is carried away from the area on which it lands.

Runoff over sloped surfaces in a thin layer. Usually occurs due to the imperviousness of an area, such as a driveway.

Soil processes constitute a group of unit processes: sorption, biological removal, sedimentation, precipitation, and filtration. Distinction is made between saturated soils in wet ponds and wetlands, and unsaturated soils in vegetated swales and infiltration systems.

As growing urban centers have sprawled into the countryside, the ability of the natural drainage network to serve in a multifunctional capacity has been overwhelmed. In fact, impervious cover has grown at a rate five times greater than the population, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General’s Office.

The proportion of sand, silt and clay which make up the soil.

Sorptive media filtration is a unit process in which dissolved constituents are removed by chemical attachment to media at the molecular level. Three types of sorption are defined: adsorption, absorption, and ion exchange. Sorption capacity is explained, particularly the difference between total and operating capacity.

Still and unmoving water which has become foul from lack of motion.

Water which is not in motion accumulates in an area that remains stagnant for more than 24 hours.

Storm water runoff significantly impacts the water quality by depositing sediment and pollutants into waterways. While the EPA has created programs under the Clean Water Act, implementation of these programs is managed by state environmental agencies. The exceptions are Massachusetts, New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho and New Hampshire where EPA retains authority. Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) must develop, implement, and enforce a storm water management program (SWMP) to reduce the discharge of pollutants from MS4s to the “maximum extent practicable.”

Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP) is a technology-based standard established by Congress in the Clean Water Act. Since no precise definition of MEP exists, it allows for maximum flexibility on the part of MS4 operators as they develop their programs. The majority of states have established permitting requirements for construction sites disturbing more than one acre, industrial sites, and MS4s. All MS4s should currently be permitted or be in the permit process. Each permitted MS4 is responsible for establishing Storm water Management Program either under the Phase I program, or under the Phase II of the NPDES storm water regulations.

Chemistry determines the speciation of the constituents in storm water such as metals, ammonia, and phosphorus, and in turn, the manner of their sorption to soils and sorptive media. These relationships directly affect the performance of collection systems. Biological, chemical, and engineering principles underlay our storm water treatment technologies, such as wet ponds, swales, swirl settlers, bio-retention, porous pavements, and filters. These principles derive from our knowledge and experience in not only storm water treatment but also water and wastewater treatment engineering, chemical engineering, agricultural engineering, aquatic chemistry, soil science, and the biological sciences.

Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP) is a technology-based standard established by Congress in the Clean Water Act. Since no precise definition of MEP exists, it allows for maximum flexibility on the part of MS4 operators as they develop their programs. The majority of states have established permitting requirements for construction sites disturbing more than one acre, industrial sites, and MS4s. All MS4s should currently be permitted or be in the permit process. Each permitted MS4 is responsible for establishing Storm water Management Program either under the Phase I program, or under the Phase II of the NPDES storm water regulations.

A collection system is no more efficient in pollutant removal than it is hydraulically efficient. Although certain design criteria reflect the importance of hydraulic efficiency, e.g. the length to width ratio of a basin. The concept of “blue-green development,” coined by Earl Jones in a 1967 American Society of Civil Engineers journal, utilizes the multifunctional natural drainage system for detention of urban storm water, aesthetics and overall enhancement of surrounding development.

Rainfall in a region which contributes to the supply of a stream or lake.

The level of the soil at which the soil is always 100% saturated.

A small hole used to drain water, such as in a retaining wall.

Drainage Items Guide

A dual wall pipe with a smooth interior and corrugated exterior wall. It offers exceptional hydraulics and strength, as well as superior corrosion and abrasion resistance.

Inlet Drain for excessive water collection. This drain is a similar design to the ones that sewer districts use in neighborhoods, etc. Installation procedure: The area will be excavated to the proper depth and 6″ of limestone will be installed. The concrete sewer base will be set in using a machine and the adjustment collar will be placed on the base. The inlet top will be set on top of the collar. A 10″ SDR 35 PVC pipe (or larger) will be installed and grouted/sealed to the bottom of the base section. The area will be heavily compacted once installation is finished.

Asphalt Patch is used to repair sections of driveways/parking lots where we have to install a pipe through the area. This patch will never match the existing asphalt pavement 100%.

A drain grate with a dome design to maximize functionality even when leaves and debris are in the area.

Used to protect low areas and basements from the back flow of water from drainage systems installed on the property and, in some situations, street sewers. A flapper inside a valve installed on the pipe prevents water from flowing in a reverse direction. These can be used for most drain pipes and/or rodent protection.

Soil mounding used to control erosion and sedimentation by reducing the rate of surface runoff or controlling the flow direction of water. The berms either reduce the velocity of the water or direct water to areas that are not susceptible to erosion, thereby reducing the adverse effects of running water on exposed topsoil.

Drain pipe camera technician will visit site and run cameras through the necessary drain lines to assess the drainage problem/situation. This includes the time spent on site for a camera technician to insert cameras through drain lines so we can properly identify the problem and therefore create a solution to the problem. Camera inspections are billed on an hourly basis and are non-refundable.

A structure that collects and diverts surface water to an underground drain pipe system. They have a grate on top and a sump or sediment trap at the base to prevent debris from entering the drain pipes.

Used to collect and divert surface water runoff from hardscapes, these are linear drains with a grate covering. Used on driveways, patios, parking lots and swimming pools.

We will saw cut the pavement where the channel drain will be installed. The asphalt will be removed and a trench excavated. A SDR PVC pipe will be installed and rock installed on top of the pipe to create a sloped base for the channel drain. Next, we will form and pour the bottom of the channel drain with 4″ of thick concrete. The next day, we will form the sides of the channel drain and pour concrete sides. Once the Channel Drain is dry, the forms will be removed, the cast iron drain grates set in place and the area around the drain backfilled, compacted and pavement patched where applicable.

Channel Drain is installed in the existing pavement. To install the channel drain, the pavement will be cut with a concrete saw and the concrete removed/disposed of. Some soil will typically need to be excavated out (the trench needs to be a minimum of 10″-12″ in depth, depending on application and size of the component). A SDR 35 pipe (typically) will be installed below the channel drain for the water to flow into. The prefabricated channel drain will then be installed with concrete surrounding it to hold it in place along with self leveling silicon which will be applied around the edges of the channels to seal together with concrete.

Concrete Apron installed (dimensions vary with project size and application) at the end of a mainline pipe to emit water into the street. We can decorate the apron by installing decorative rock into the concrete to give it more of a dry creek bed look. Plants can also be installed along the edges to decorate the apron.

Concrete Aprons are also installed around drain grates to secure them in place keeping them at the proper level as designed.

Includes breaking out concrete with proper equipment and removal and disposal of concrete at a certified landfill.

Any structure that is not classified as a bridge which provides a passageway for water under a road.

Discharging water from a drain pipe onto a surface by cutting the end off at an angle level with the grade at the surface or at the side of a hillside / drainage ditch.

White PVC gutter connector cleanout with screw cap for easy cleanout and access (typically 4” on residential, 6” – 10” on commercial). White PVC straight pipe extends down to the 90 degree connector. After the 90 degree connector, the pipe will run to the main line.

Interception and removal of water on, and in, the ground. Directing unwanted water from one place to a more suitable area.

A grate directly on top of a pipe. In contrast to a catch basin, drain inlets do not contain a sump and allow water to directly enter a drain pipe.

Similar to French drain but will have decorative rock on top to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

Exposed French drain with Poly sheeting adhered to the foundation along the side and bottom of the entire length of where the French drain runs along the concrete foundation. The top of this exposed French drain will have decorative rock on the top to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

We first remove soil for the well and install dry wells. We will staple fabric to the walls and bottom of the hole and then add backfill, cover it with fabric and add soil on top of the well.

A chemical applied to foundation walls to act as a barrier and prevent water from seeping into the concrete.

A trench filled with coarse materials for collecting and conveying ground water and used to collect sheets of water from surface areas. Usually utilized in situations where water is flowing consistently over a wide area of ground or from several points which makes surface grates not an economical and effective solution. Procedure: French drain will be excavated and soil removed/hauled away. Filter fabric will be installed throughout trench with staples and B-gravel will be installed in the trench along with a perforated PVC sewer & drain pipe. Once filled with B-gravel, the filter fabric will be folded over and stapled, sand mixed with rich topsoil along with new fescue or bluegrass sod is then installed on the top to blend in with the surrounding lawn (for a covered french drain). Decorative rock is installed on the top instead of sod in Exposed French Drain applications.

An elbow or tee installed into the pipe in the french drain and extended up flush with the surface of the ground. A screw on cap will then be installed for access.

Increases flow over the polyolefin drain grates by 300%.

Covers installed on the top of pipes and catch basins designed to intercept large debris.

Gutter attachments which run vertically down the side of a building or home and direct rainwater to ground level.  We do not install gutters but we do have gutter companies that we recommend.

3″ x 4″ downspouts with 6″ roof gutters is the minimum size we recommend for residential. Commercial varies depending on the size of the building(s).

Pipes which contain manufactured holes or slits. We use primarily schedule 35 sewer and drain PVC pipe for its strength and durability – it lasts many decades, if not hundreds of years.

A cell system connected in a honeycomb pattern which forms a grid to provide a stable, continuous surface base for construction of permeable pavements. Grass or gravel can be placed on top. Pavers help with erosion control and reduce or eliminate surface water runoff.

An access point on a pipeline utilized for cleaning. Procedure: a SDR 35 “T” connector will be installed on to the main pipe and a 6″ threaded plug and cap (or larger depending on the application) will be installed near the final grate. A 10″ Irrigation valve box will be installed over the cleanout at grade so the screw cap can be removed while still being somewhat hidden.

Connects two pieces of pipe together. Used on pipe and/or installation configurations where couplers are required.

Cleaning out the pipe with high powered blowers. If necessary, water is used to flush them out until clear of debris.

A type of plastic used for drain grates.

Pop-up drain emitters are sometimes installed at the end of pipe runs. Emitter pops up when water flows through the main line and will stay flush with the grade when water is not flowing. A hole is drilled in the bottom of the elbow located below the pop-up to help drain the leftover water after the flow stops. Typically, even with the hole drilled, there will still be a small amount of water sitting in the bottom of it for up to several days or weeks. This is how the pop-up is designed and since the top shuts when water is not emitting from it, mosquitoes cannot breed. (We rarely recommend pop-up emitters in a system as it restricts water flow)

A type of smooth wall pipe acceptable for drainage. We use primarily SDR 35 sewer and drain PVC pipe for its strength and durability: it lasts many decades, if not hundreds of years.

Breaking rock with a jack hammer to install the drainage system. This includes a foreman and one laborer for the hours taken or estimated to break out the rock in the path of the drainage system installation.

Wall thickness of pipe has a direct ratio to the diameter of the pipe.

PVC, ABS or polyethylene drain pipe with a smooth wall.

Drainage pipe without holes or slits (non-perforated).

A concrete or plastic block placed below downspouts to prevent erosion and direct runoff away from foundations.

Installed to hold soil in place and minimize future erosion in the areas.  Grading is completed, seed is typically applied, straw roll/erosion netting is rolled out and finished up by pinning down the straw roll with metal staples that will remain in place permanently.

NOTE: Seed will not grow from approximately October 15th through April 15th so if construction takes place during this time period and the sod option is not selected; the area will be seed and straw and will look barren until the growing season starts again April 15th.

Straw bales can be used to trap sediment and divert water runoff. Typically used at the bottom of embankment slopes, as a ditch check and to collect sediment from the lower side of cleared areas.

Connecting the PVC pipe into the storm sewer inlet in the area. We will drill holes, punch out the area to insert the PVC pipe, install the pipe with gasket through the side of the inlet and seal with a heavy duty construction sealant/caulk.

Road / municipal drainage system for excessive water.

Water below the first layer of topsoil which cannot permeate any lower due to the tightness of soil.

Connected into a 1.5″ 90˚ connector, then a 4″ Reducer Cap that is installed into a 4″+ Y connector on the main line.

Water on top of the soil which has been deposited by rain or irrigation but has not been absorbed into the soil.

A survey instrument with a projected ruler used to measure slopes.

A linear drain with a grate used to collect sheets of water from paved areas.

A 4″ or 6″ atrium drain installed in the bottom of a window well to prevent water from accumulating in the window well and flowing into the window during rain events. We typically install concrete in the bottom of the window well sloping it toward the atrium drain. Decorative rock can also be installed in the concrete to make it more decorative.

Heavy duty prefabricated poly or custom retaining wall block installed as window wells. The ground will be excavated to the proper level in front of the window and the window well will be installed or built in the hole in front of the basement window. We will then backfill, tamping the soil down in 6- to 8-in. steps and we will finish by creating plenty of ground slope away from the well. To finish the bottom of the well we will add about 3 in of decorative gravel to the floor with concrete to keep rain from splashing mud against the window and a drain will be installed to make sure no water collects to the point of the basement leaking again.

Erosion Items Guide

Detachment and movement of rock or soil particles by water, wind, ice or gravity.

A blanket of biodegradable material that covers and protects grass seed and topsoil until vegetation matures enough to provide the necessary erosion control. Can be used in residential and commercial applications, as well as ecologically sensitive areas such as stream banks and forests.

Knitted tubes filled with fibers used for filtration. They trap, filter and treat sediment-laden runoff while reducing waterflow.

A compartmentalized container used for erosion control and retaining wall purposes. Gabion are made of steel wire mesh and filled with stone. The stone allows water to seep through while retaining soil and the soil progressively fills the voids between stones, encouraging vegetation growth.

Oversized 4-24” limestone rock used for erosion control.

A cellular confinement system which confines fill material such as sand or rock for ground stabilization, erosion control, embankments and retaining walls.

“This is the natural solution for shoreline stabilization that usually eliminates other considerations.” Procedure: Water will be pumped down 4′ so we can access the entire shoreline where construction is taking place. Next we will shoot the grades to calculate the water levels for the installation. Grading will then begin to smooth out the shorelines and to get ready for the placement of the shoreline protection materials. Areas needing filled-in during grading will be compacted during the excavation process. Once the grading is completed, 8 foot wide four-ounce non-woven geotextile sections will be placed around the shoreline perimeter and stapled/anchored to the soil. Next, Geocell sections, eight foot by 20 foot by 6 inches will be expanded and laid longitudinally on the slope. The Geocell sections will now be secured with 24 inch J hook anchors and will be connected with a pneumatic stapler. Once the high and low water levels are determined, we will use a string line to delineate the separation between the rock fill and the soil fill portions. Next we will begin the infill process by filling the lower 3 foot portion with 1-2 inch meramec gravel. Topsoil and vegetation/grass seed will be installed in the upper cells 5′ above the water level to stabilize the slope/edge. Lastly, we will finish grade the surrounding areas where the construction took place.

A solid, thermoplastic sheet material used to block the passage of groundwater.

A synthetic material used as an integral part of a system or structure. Regarding drainage, geosynthetics include geomembranes, geotextiles and geocomposites.

A thermoplastic permeable fabric which allows the passage of ground water while blocking soil particles and debris. It filters, drains, reinforces and protects soil.

Natural grade refers to the natural, undisturbed surface of the ground. Subgrade is the grade established for top surfacing of lawns, roadways, etc. Finished grade is the completed surface of the lawn, roadway, etc.

The degree of slope of a surface, usually expressed as a percentage.

Modification of the natural ground surface, generally done with cuts and fills.

Used on construction sites to establish vegetation, it consists of seed, fertilizer and wood fiber mulch mixed with a tackifier and applied to the area. It promotes quick germination and inhibits soil erosion.

Installing live willow stakes 2′ on center in an area for erosion control. The live stakes will be harvested and planted during the dormant season.

We use healthy, straight and live wood at least one year old that has clean cuts; split ends will not be installed. 25% of the live stake will be above ground while 75% will be below grade. The use of a pivot bar will allow us to penetrate firm soils to aid us in the installation process. Soil is tamped around the live stake after the placement. Live stakes will all be installed in a diamond pattern; no live stakes will be placed directly above or below the stake in the adjacent row.

If the live stakes are planted while dormant, shoots (leaves and small branches) should be seen in the spring. If live stakes are planted during the growing season, it may take a full year or two to see results. If two or three growing seasons pass without signs of growth, the dead stakes will need to be removed and replaced with live stakes. Also, be prepared to contract with us to re-plant should the area be affected by high water, drought or ice damage before stakes are fully established. To increase survival, it is recommended that the live stakes are watered once a week during their first growing season.

A cell system connected in a honeycomb pattern which forms a grid to provide a stable, continuous surface base for construction of permeable pavements. Grass or gravel can be placed on top. Pavers help with erosion control and reduce or eliminate surface water runoff.

Area is graded where the mat is to be installed as directed by the plan and/or Engineer. Subgrade will be uniform and smoothed out and all rocks, clods, vegetation and other objects will be removed from the site prior to the installation. The mat must have direct contact with the soil surface. We prepare the seedbed by loosening the top 2-3” minimum of soil. Amendments such as lime and fertilizer will be added to the soil if needed. We then apply seed to the soil surface before installing the Pyramat Mat. If we are soil filling, we first install the mat, apply seed and then soil fill as the specifications require on the plan/drawing.

We grade the area where the mat is to be installed as directed by the plan and or Engineer and then place the mat. Subgrade will be uniform, smoothed out and free from all rocks, clods, etc.

A wall built to keep earth or water in place.

Material placed on a slope, such as oversized 4-24” limestone rock, to help prevent erosion by water.

A geotextile barrier fence used to collect silt particles from water that passes through. It is used to preserve the water quality in nearby streams, rivers, etc. from storm water runoff and is installed before construction. Silt fencing is not designed for concentrating or directing storm water runoff. It is installed by driving stakes in the ground and burying 6″ of the silt fence below grade. Fencing comes with or without wire reinforcement.

Sink Holes are typically repaired by excavating the sink hole down to solid soil walls, then mixing any quality soil removed with high plasticity soil, filling the excavation area back up. During the backfill of the excavation area, soil is heavily compacted after every 6-8" of soil is re-installed. Once area is completely filled / compacted up to grade, sod or erosion netting or plant material will be planted over the area. 

When applicable (most cases) - prior to Sinkhole mitigation starting, we will install a drainage solution to divert the water away from this sinkhole area. 

The face of an embankment which is not level with the horizontal plane, such as hills.

Is used to carry water down slopes to reduce erosion. Can be plastic, metal or stone pipes or gutters.

Is used to carry water down slopes to reduce erosion. Can be plastic, metal or stone pipes or gutters.

Installed to hold soil in place and minimize future erosion in the areas. Grading is completed, seed is typically applied, straw roll/erosion netting is rolled out and finished up by pinning down the straw roll with metal staples that will remain in place permanently. NOTE: Seed will not grow from approximately October 15th through April 15th so if construction takes place during this time period and the sod option is not selected; the area will be seed and straw and will look barren until the growing season starts again April 15th.

A level area that is paved or planted which forms part of a garden or building setting.

An insert for curb, drop and median inlets without grates that will trap sediment in storm water runoff. Suspended particles settle out of the slowed flow before entering the dam and continuing into the sewer.

Stormwater Basins Items Guide

Bioretention is a stormwater management process that utilizes chemical, biological, and physical property of plants, microbes, and soils to remove contaminants and sedimentation from stormwater runoff. In addition to removing sediment and pollutants, bioretention basins help manage local water levels during rain events.

Annual Bioretention Maintenance Programs keeps the system functioning as originally designed and in compliance with local municipalities and local sewer company. Use a specialized stormwater maintenance company for bioretention maintenance. 

Common issues due to lack of maintenance or incorrect maintenance programs:

  • Letters & fines from local sewer company
  • Overgrown vegetation and debris (including trees, honeysuckle, weeds, leaves, trash, etc.)
  • Poor water infiltration & likely flooding
  • Clogged and decomposed biomedia
  • Sediment buildup and swamp like appearance full of mosquitos and insects.
  • Leaks in original piping causing subsurface issues including sinkholes.

Projects start by having all utilities located and delivering and mobilizing all of the equipment necessary to complete the project. We then use a large water pump to pump the creek/pond down if needed. A professional operator will use our specialized excavator to re-shape, restore and smooth the edges of the creek. Once the area is smoothed out we will compact the area, shelve the edges in all areas possible and pile up the soil removed to be hauled away. The specialized track equipped loader with a professional operator will retrieve the soil and load into a dump truck to be hauled away to a certified fill site. Once the edges and bottom of the creek are excavated, compacted, and prepped we will install rip rap / gabion limestone rock using specialized rubber track loaders along with laborers. Lastly we restore all of the areas that were disturbed by this project and will install erosion straw netting.

Also known as a dry pond, this is a depressed area of land, normally dry, for temporarily collecting and holding storm runoff to reduce the peak rate of flow.

Dredging is the removal of soil, silt and sediment from a stormwater basin, which is carried out from under water. The most common reason for dredging a stormwater basin is to maintain a minimum depth so water volume retention levels during rain events are met. Dredging also helps to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem within a stormwater basin so it doesn't fill up with silt and sediment to the point of looking like a swamp.

There are two primary methods of dredging: mechanical excavating and hydraulic excavating.

Mechanical Dredging - dredged material is excavated and removed through the use of mechanical equipment such as grabs, buckets, cutter heads or scoops.

Hydraulic Dredging - is done with special water jets. The dredged material which has been loosened from the basin floor is sucked up and transported further as a mixture (solid material and water) using centrifugal pumps. This mixture is most commonly pumped into dewatering bags on the shoreline of the basin which capture the sediment while allowing the water to escape and drain back into the waterway once filtered. The bags stay on the shoreline until the sediment inside dries out. Once dry, the bags and sediment are removed from the site and any lawn areas restored. 

Similar to a detention basin, except these usually have a permanent pool of water. They collect storm water during intense rains to reduce and control the peak rate of flow.

Matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid

A structure or depression which slows the flow of water to allow sediment to settle out of the runoff. A sediment basin protects properties and streams below the basin.

Silt is a solid sediment that is similar to dust. Water, ice, and wind transport silt and deposit it in stormwater basins and waterways. Silt is a mixture mineral particles and rock that are slightly larger than clay but smaller than grains of sand.

Waterproofing Items Guide

The waterproofing process that is typically used on above-ground basements in order to prevent dampness and water from accumulating and possibly damaging this part of the structure and its contents.

The process wherein water or water vapor is drawn into and accumulates in the body or cells of a structure.

The material used when filling in excavations or trenches against or around a basement, crawlspace, or foundation.

Floor or floors of a structure that are build completely or partially below the ground.

Concrete layer (usually 4” to 5” in thickness) that forms the floor of a basement.

Subfloor drainage system employed to divert surface water from an area using pressure to do so.

Process that is used to prevent a leaking basement wall and the seepage and accumulation of water on a basement floor.

Mold genus that is associated with poor air quality within a commercial or residential structure. It is typically found after fungus begins growing on standing water that has accumulated within a structure. Individuals in the structure are exposed to this.

Drain pipe made from concrete or PVC that is used in basement waterproofing it is usually installed through the foundation to allow water to flow from outside a structure into drain tiles in the interior therefore preventing a leaky or wet basement.

Result of excessive lateral pressure acting upon a building’s exterior. The pressure creates an inward movement that bows the wall and eventually leads to water leaking into the wall.

The migratory or wicking action of water into the pores of floors and walls of dry basement areas. The action is similar to the way in which a sponge draws water into it.

Material strips made from carbon fibers to waterproof basements. When it is bonded to a basement wall, it cannot stretch. It will stop the continuing growth of cracks if installed properly and prior to the cracking having progressed too far.

Waterproofing material that refers to the process of applying it or the substance itself. In construction trades, caulk is normally used to close up gaps and joints in a structure.

Device used in basement waterproofing. It permits water to flow in only one direction while being most commonly installed in the discharge line of sump pumps.

Pre-fabricated construction component that is made from cinders and concrete. Cinder blocks are most commonly used in the construction of foundation or retaining walls.

Used to laterally support basement walls, this deadman is placed in soils that are classified as non-active, non-moving, or non-shifting.

Any type of covering substance that is applied for changing a surface’s appearance or protecting it. The coating can be a gas, liquid, or solid and is oftentimes used to repair a leaky basement wall.

Intersection between the end of poured concrete and the start of another concrete pouring is a cold joint. This is something that building contractors try to avoid by continuing to pour the concrete until the job has been completed.

When moisture or vapor molecules are exposed to something colder, such as the air or other materials, they are converted into small droplets of water. This process is referred to as condensation and normally occurs on cooler basement floors, pipes, or walls just like on the exterior of a glass of cold water.

Joint between floors and walls are known as coves or cove walls. This is one of the more common sources of water intrusion which will lead to a wet basement.

There are a number of reasons that cracks develop in floors and walls including contraction, expansion, settlement, and water pressure. In some cases, they are created by design. However, the crack is merely a symptom and not the actual problem. The problem is that water enters through those cracks whenever there is sufficient pressure to force it into penetrating the opening and causing a basement wall to leak.

The shallow and unfinished area beneath a structure’s first floor or its roof. It typically provides access to heating, plumbing, and wiring. If these areas are not properly ventilated, condensation will occur and the air will become stagnant.

Condensation and humidity can occur during the hotter seasons of the year, and in the winter with a heated basement. In the summer and spring, it is common that the concrete appears wet. This wetness is due to the humidity in the air that turns to dampness on the cool concrete. Warm air settles onto the cool concrete producing dampness called condensation.

Usually installed when a home is being constructed, this application or system helps to prevent minor amounts of moisture or water vapor from accumulating. It is oftentimes viewed as a back-up to a waterproofing application or system. The materials that are used in the damp-proofing process are waterproofing products.

Small appliance or device that enables condensation through the use of cold temperatures for squeezing the moisture out of air molecules into a removable tray that can easily be emptied when full. You should have a qualified building supply or hardware person size the dehumidifier for you based on your specific needs.

Pipe that is used to divert the water away from a sump pump. You should periodically check these lines to insure that nothing has built up in them and is restricting the flow of water.

The pipe that diverts water from rain gutters and away from the foundation of a home or other structure.

Commonly made from a polyethylene tubing that is flexible and has been perforated, drain tiles were originally manufactured using clay or some type of hard material. These are laid in end-to-end fashion near the footing level of a basement in order to prevent the accumulation of water and wet basements.

A gravel filled hole in the earth that is used to correct or prevent a wet basement by diverting drainage water away from the structure.

White mineral that shows up as a deposit on the face of masonry. It results from water leaching through the masonry to the surface.

Injection of a lower viscosity epoxy or epoxy materials into the cracks in a foundation or wall. The material is prone to cracking if moving and settling continue to occur.

A box, cylinder, or tube that is most commonly installed around the foundation footing’s outside perimeter. It collects and then diverts any water away from the structure’s foundation and is typically used when waterproofing a basement.

Generalized term that is used to describe the covering of a floor.

The base upon which walls are constructed. It is developed by pouring concrete into a form or mold above the water table but below the frost line and then allowed to cure.

The raising of a foundation above its elevation because of soil expanding after a thawing out period.

Hollowed openings within block walls. If water is able to collect inside, it will cause a leaky basement.

Typically related to the bowing and/or displacement of walls that are not horizontally and/or vertically plumb. This will cause basement walls to develop leaks.

Specific chemical qualities that enable the absorption or drawing of water.

Oftentimes referred to as still water pressure, this is the pressure that is exerted against a foundation. It is caused by a high water table and when that water is allowed to rest against various heights of the foundation. This pressure builds up against foundation walls and beneath the floor after heavy rains.

Moderate level of dampness or wetness that exists in the atmosphere. It causes condensation on basement floors and walls, eventually leading to the growth of mold.

The inadvertent leaking of air and moisture, water, or water vapor into a structure.

Pressure that surrounding soils exert on the walls of a structure. When the pressure becomes excessive, it can cause a basement wall to begin leaking.

Mold pathogen that appears as a growth on the surface of its host material.

Moisture or water that wicks through concrete pores and delaminates the surrounding materials. This typically occurs on below grade and slab-on-grade floors.

The process that is used to destroy or physically remove mold by using certain chemicals.

Occurs when water creates pressure the substrate’s opposing side and attempts to push through, thereby causing those materials to fail. Floors that are constructed below ground level are prone to this type of pressure.

Valve used to discharge storm water. It is typically located in the floor drain side wall and is designed to prevent the backflow of sewage into the storm water system.

Basement waterproofing material or product which is injected into the cracks in a basement wall to prevent leakage from occurring.

Walls that are created by the pouring of concrete into forms that are normally held together through the use of tie-rods. The tie-rods are clipped as the forms are being removed. This area is prone to leaks that develop as a result of curing, thermal movement, and water pressure being present.

Drainage systems that are designed and installed below ground level to help reduce the negative impact of a wet basement that resulted from hydrostatic pressure building up beneath a basement floor.

A colorless, odorless gas that is slightly radioactive and can seep into basements through cracks in the floors or walls. Radon gas is considered a health hazard once it reaches certain levels in the air.

Material that is most commonly used to secure joints on a building’s exterior. To work properly, sealants should be capable of withstanding the continual movement that occurs along joints without failing during all types of weather conditions.

Water that infiltrates floor slabs and masonry walls. It is usually evidenced when a basement’s concrete flooring and walls become damp or start leaking. In most cases, this is due to the basement drainage system not functioning properly because it is overloaded.

The openings in blocks are completely filled using cinder or concrete, there will be no hollow cavities. This is known as a solid block foundation. Any leaking that occurs will usually be found at joints in the mortar.

Brick or block wall fracture that follows an upward path along the joints in mortar. Differential settlement or lateral pressure typically causes step cracks to occur and cause a basement wall to start leaking.

Wall reinforcement that uses steel tubing placed vertically against the walls of a basement to prevent further movement from occurring.

3/4” to 1” clean, crushed aggregates used to backfill an excavation or trench. This allows water to flow towards drain tiles located at the elevation of the basement footing.

Is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a pit commonly found in the home basement to collect water called a sump pit. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the pit or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level. Usually the pump is hardwired into a home’s electrical system. Sump pumps should also have a battery backup system. Since a sump pit may overflow if not constantly pumped, a backup system is important for cases when the main power is out for prolonged periods of time. There are generally two types of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible. The pedestal pump’s motor is mounted above the pit, where it is more easily serviced but also more conspicuous. The submersible pump is entirely mounted inside the pit, and is specially sealed to prevent electrical short circuits. Sump tanks and sump pumps must be maintained every year or so. We suggest examining equipment every year. Pumps running frequently due to higher water table, water drainage, or weather conditions should be examined more frequently. Sump pumps, being highly mechanical, will fail eventually, which could lead to a flooded basement requiring costly repairs.  We recommend replacing your sump pump every two years if it is running frequently to prevent a flood.

System installed with a Deep Cycle Battery and a secondary pump. The float on the battery backup system is set higher than the primary pump. In the event that the home / building loses power, the battery backup pump will activate when the water triggers the secondary float. An alarm will also trigger when this occurs, letting you know there’s a power failure. Note: We recommend generators on the property VS battery backup systems. A generator adds more value to the property and offers primary pump evacuation power when you need it most…

Movement caused by contraction or expansion resulting from changes in temperature.

Basement wall fractures that result from differential settlement or heaving walls.

Amount of a basement wall’s horizontal movement with respect to the vertical plane of a given location.

A product used in the basement waterproofing process it is a panel that is made using corrugated or ribbed plastic and is placed at an angle against the wall and on top of the wall’s footing.

Class of water damage is determined by the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded. Determining the class of water damage is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to dry-down the structure.

Class 1 – Slow Rate of Evaporation. Affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

Class 2 – Fast Rate of Evaporation. Water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

Class 3 – Fastest Rate of Evaporation. Water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.

Class 4 – Specialty Drying Situations. Involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.

The uppermost level of a portion of land that has been completely saturated with water. Below grade leakage is attributed to the water table especially where basement coves, floors, and walls are concerned.

Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans. Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.

Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. This type of water carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re-classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

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