This article is an excerpt from Episode 13 of Alchemy-Spetec’s podcast The Injection Connection, featuring Erin Rothman – Founder and CEO of StormSensor. (If you’d rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)
Charlie Lerman: Do you ever get involved with EPA Consent Decrees where they’ve said to a municipality, “Your system’s all hosed up. You need to get this fixed and you’re going to do it in this time frame.” Did they ever call you in for that type of monitoring or anything like that?
Erin Rothman: The consent decree programs we’ve been a part of have been on the combined sewer side. And a lot of that is looking at obviously when overflow is happening, how significant the overflow is. We can quantify it given in tidal locations, so being able to separate different tidal sources or flow sources. But then, really, in doing that, helping them really understanding the total volume that needs to be addressed instead of the modeled volume and incorporating that into long-term control plans.
Charlie: Gotcha. Because a lot of municipalities, especially when they’re slapped with a consent decree, just think, “We just need to increase the system capacity. We need to make it bigger. We need a bigger plan.” Or something like that.
Erin: Yes, increase the budget to pay the fines.
Charlie: Right. And mitigation oftentimes is a great solution that helps or even gets them to where they need to be.
Erin: Exactly. And there are all different ways you can do it. It does not just mean increasing the size of the pipe and putting them over there.
Charlie: No. That’s obviously where chemical grouting comes in. That’s a small portion of how to control some things. And also with chemical grouting, you find saving opportunities just right there at the manhole. A lot of these people think, “We don’t have a budget to start this” or “We don’t even know where to start”. But there are some really simple things. When you look at a 10 gallon a minute leak in a manhole – that is roughly, depending what part of the country you’re in, between about 12 to $25 000 a year in treatment costs.
Erin: That’s one leak.
Charlie: Right, one leak. And something like that is usually super easy to repair. We’re talking a couple of thousand dollars, one day, one crew out there and they can immediately repair it. You see, that $3000 you paid to fix that manhole saves $25000 that year. It’s very simple stuff and I really feel that we need some champions out there to get people to understand this. Maybe some type of push with our legislators. This is kind of a passion that I’ve found and it goes great with trying to be more environmentally friendly and saving money at the same time. Who’s against this kind of thing? And I don’t understand why we’re not doing more of it.
Erin: Exactly and providing jobs for the people to do the maintenance and creating those repairs.
View the video version of this excerpt…