10.09.2017  |  Conferences, News

StormCon 2017 – The KJ Stormwater Team Celebrates All Things Stormwater


The KJ Stormwater Team went all out to showcase our stormwater engineering expertise and our enthusiastic stormwater team as we wrapped up an exciting week in Bellevue, WA at StormCon 2017, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Expo.

The KJ team represented by staff from Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, presented in five separate sessions (including the only Hawaii presentation at the whole conference!), and also coordinated a SOLD OUT bus tour to the City of Tacoma, WA Point Defiance Stormwater Treatment Facility and the KJ designed, award-winning, Port of Tacoma, WA West Hylebos Biofiltration Stormwater Treatment System.

KJ StormCon 2017 Booth
KJ StormCon 2017 Booth

KJ presentations included:

  • Phil Potter (Honolulu, HI) – Developing a Priority-Based Plan for Municipal Industrial Stormwater Facility Management
  • Sheila Sahu (Portland, OR) and Matt Graves (Port of Vancouver, WA) – Biofiltration and Downspout Filter Media Evaluation for BMP Decision-Making at the Port of Vancouver, WA 
  • Laura Weiden (Federal Way, WA) – Port of Port Angeles: Evaluation of Stormwater Treatment and Conveyance Options at an Industrial Facility with Cultural Resources 
  • Alan Flemming, (Portland, OR) – Zooming in on Particle Size: Understanding Metals in Industrial Stormwater 
  • Ross Dunning (Federal Way, WA) – Redeveloping a Shipping Terminal with Stormwater in Mind 

The StormCon conference provides an opportunity for KJ Stormwater Team members from across the country to interact with one another and learn about stormwater management and treatment from experts across the country, including equipment and media vendors, regulatory agencies, municipal and industrial facility managers, and the most knowledgeable consultants in the industry (of course we are referring to KJ, this is our blog after all)! The food and entertainment were unmatched – we hung out with numerous clients from the Pacific Northwest, California, and Hawaii, made new friends, and learned a lot from the wide variety of presentations. For those unable to attend StormCon 2017, consider attending Stormcon 2018 in Denver, CO. The StormCon folks are already planning feverishly to try and top this year’s show and KJ will be there to showcase what we can do in Colorado!

KJ Stormwater Treatment Bus Tour

Special thanks must also go out to our friends Jessica Knickerbocker, P.E. at the City of Tacoma and Anita Fichthorn at the Port of Tacoma. The bus tour was a great success! KJ Consultants’ Phil Potter provided entertainment during the bus ride, hosting stormwater-related trivia and giving out prizes.

Point Defiance
Point Defiance Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility

Our first stop was at the City of Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park for an overview and demonstration of their super-successful regional stormwater treatment facility. The facility is located within the Tacoma Asarco Smelter Plume and discharges to an impaired bay in the Puget Sound. It is designed to treat up to 8 million gallons per day from a 754-acre watershed. This facility has won multiple awards since it began operations and is still functioning well. It’s not hard to believe, since the cascading concrete pools and natural-looking swale are as pleasing to look at as they are effective at removing pollutants from stormwater!

Point Defiance
Jessica Knickerbocker describes the history and success of the Point Defiance Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility

Next it was off to the West Hylebos Pier property at the Port of Tacoma for a look at the KJ designed, innovative, and effective solution for managing stormwater at an active 25 acre log yard. The $2.7-million treatment system treats stormwater from the paved log yard and reduced pollutant loads by 92% from the start. The system is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and continues to improve, requiring a surprising minimal amount of maintenance.

Anita Fichthorn, Port of Tacoma Stormwater Manager
Anita Fichthorn, Port of Tacoma Stormwater Manager, describes the Port of Tacoma West Hylebos Pier Biofiltration Stormwater Treatment System. Image courtesy of The Northwest Seaport Alliance

The Port of Tacoma and KJ Consultants realized that stormwater requirements are going to become more restrictive over time and during predesign, considered several alternatives ranging from sanitary sewer discharge to advanced treatment relying on chemical treatment and mechanical filtration. Designing a treatment system that could achieve stringent Washington State Industrial Stormwater Permit benchmarks for challenging log yard runoff, offering variable treatment capability, and meeting operational size restrictions was essential. These design restraints will apply to thousands of facilities in the future as stormwater regulations become more stringent nationwide, hardest hit being ports and industry though this approach is also well suited for municipalities looking to get a cost-effective water quality improvement when considering urban retrofits.

Ross Dunning of KJ Consultants
Ross Dunning, KJ Consultants, describes the Port of Tacoma West Hylebos Pier Biofiltration Stormwater Treatment System. Image courtesy of The Northwest Seaport Alliance

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