Dunes Engineered for Stormwater Treatment Can Reduce Bacteria Pollution

Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Blog, Coastal Development | 0 comments


Phys.org reports on an interesting technical solution to a difficult problem on our developed coasts:

When it rains, untreated stormwater can sweep pollutants into coastal waters, potentially endangering public health. Now researchers from North Carolina State University have developed low-cost filtration systems that are concealed beneath sand dunes and filter out most of the bacteria that can lead to beach closures.

The “dune infiltration” system reduces bacteria concentrations by 96%.

This type of treatment system could be useful in  denser communities where other beachfront properties are not available for stormwater treatment or where more traditional systems are not feasible. Initial testing showed that these systems did not have adverse impacts to groundwater levels or the dune’s ability to retain vegetation for stability.

As dunes are being frantically constructed (or reconstructed)  to provide coastal communities storm surge protection from the ocean, perhaps these systems can be installed to protect the ocean from runoff from coastal communities. 

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