Stream F: Source Water Issues / Watershed Management



2.4 Meeting Metro Vancouver’s required minimum onsite rainwater management – New tools to help you get there!

2.5 Evaluation of public space rainwater management amenities in urban town centers

2.6 Green infrastructure-sustaining life in our urban streams and marine habitat


6.1 Gutters, gardens, rooftops, and taps

6.2 Positively effecting river water quality and industrial water supply: Regional-scale water reclamation and reuse in Edmonton

6.3 Assessment of rainwater mangement source controls in Coquitlam

6.4 The art and science of water source protection: Maximizing collaboration and reducing risk




2.4 Meeting Metro Vancouver's required minimum onsite rainwater management – New tools to help you get there!

Presented By: Crystal Campbell, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.
Time: Monday, 3:45 - 4:15 PM

The 2010 Liquid Waste Management Plan, Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan (LWMP), requires Metro Vancouver and member municipalities to do the following by 2014-2016:

1. Update municipal bylaws to require on-site rainwater management sufficient to meet criteria established in municipal integrated stormwater plans or baseline region-wide criteria;

2. Update municipal utility design standards and neighbourhood design guidelines to enable and encourage on-site rainwater management.

Metro Vancouver and the Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group with the assistance of Kerr Wood Leidal have developed options for the Region-Wide Baseline for On-Site Rainwater Management tool. The Baseline is the required minimum level of onsite rainwater management. The options consist of a set of rainwater management tools that can be used in the absence of an ISMP to provide minimum protection of downstream watershed health. These options are for single family and small multi-family developments and re-developments. They include minimum criteria, standard drawings, construction and maintenance checklists, and a bylaw template.

This presentation will provide an overview of the Baseline tools, the methodology behind them, and how they can help municipalities fulfill their LWMP stormwater commitments.

pdf icon Presentation PDF


2.5 Evaluation of public space rainwater management amenities in urban town centers

Presented By: Kel Coulson, City of Burnaby.
Time: Monday, 4:15 - 4:45 PM

The City of Burnaby is redeveloping its high-density town centres with plans to incorporate substantial landscaping features into City owned rights-of-way fronting developments. Given the framework established by Metro Vancouver's Liquid Waste Management Plan and current trends toward improving the management of rainwater, these landscape features have been identified as potential opportunities to implement Rainwater Management Amenities (RMAs), that serve both an aesthetic role for the enjoyment of the public and allow for reduction in runoff and improvements in the water quality of runoff. The scope and scale of RMAs in Brentwood and Metrotown town centres is extensive and approaches 30 km of linear raingardens and 500 green curb bulges at build out.

The juxtaposition of forested ravines and towers on Burnaby's diverse topography creates a beautiful contrast that is challenging for water management solutions. Typical rainfalls are fairly heavy and soils located in urban centres have low to very low infiltration capacities and when combined with the amplification of rainfall, an RMA may be significantly overloaded and hard pressed to achieve a meaningful benefit in addressing runoff from a catchment area. In addition, the challenges and constraints of traffic impacts, utility conflicts, volume, and contaminant loading needed to be considered.

Significant analysis was required to determine the appropriate balance of engineering design requirements that could effectively reduce or attenuated runoff volumes and improved water quality while addressing constraints and risks. A multidisciplinary approach allowed us to achieve town centre specific RMA standards in dense urban areas.

pdf icon Presentation PDF


2.6 Green infrastructure-sustaining life in our urban streams and marine habitat

Presented By: Scott Murdoch, Murdoch de Greeff Inc.
Time: Monday, 4:45 - 5:15 PM

In our urban environments, how we manage rainwater has a significant impact on local streams and marine habitats. Stormwater runoff from our building and roads often is delivered to these waterways untreated. The runoff is often highly contaminated and unable to support life. There is renewed vigor in our local communities to support healthy streams and clean beaches. The reality of living streams and shorelines in these communities requires the delivery of clean water that supports life. Therefore, runoff from our buildings and roads needs to support life. In pristine landscapes, the natural process of water infiltration, nutrient uptake by plants, and the release of clean, cold water support life in streams. Green infrastructure, and especially the living soils and plants associated with many BMP's, is the best way to integrate these natural process' into urban environments. In almost every development project, there are opportunities to integrate natural processes that will support living systems. Integrating rainwater BMP's into designs helps bring life to city streets and parks, can extend the life of existing pipes and underground works, and improve habitat quality for a diversity of living organisms. Excellence in design requires that we understand both natural system processes and the performance of affected infrastructure. We will use several examples from the Victoria area to illustrate how green infrastructure can be used to integrate natural system processes into urban landscapes and infrastructure systems. Finally, we will discuss the hurdles to integrating these types of designs into our communities.

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6.1 Gutters, gardens, rooftops, and taps

Presented By: Ken Nentwig, Canadian Association for Rainwater Management.
Time: Tuesday, 8:00 - 8:30 AM

'From Gutter to Garden, From Rooftop to Tap,' the harvesting of rainwater is an ancient concept. It may be thought of first as an alternative source for the garden, or for washing the car. On second thought, storage of rainwater for fire suppression and disaster preparation, for flushing or for drinking, are not at all farfetched. Most individuals like the idea of a rain barrel for the garden, yet few consider rainwater as an abundant, finite, natural resource. We are so ingrained into out-of-sight, out-of-mind that we accept wastage through century-old practices, and reject the clean, fresh water brought to our doorstep by nature's own processes.

The Canadian Association for Rainwater Management (CANARM) Mission Statement is "TO BRING AWARENESS, EDUCATE, AND CONDUCT RESEARCH IN BEST PRACTICES FOR RAINWATER AND STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ACROSS CANADA". With a wide variation in application of codes, regulations and guidelines regarding rainwater, CANARM is engaged in offering education and certification in best practices for the design and installation of harvesting systems. Whether the result is a rain garden or potable drinking water, or an environmentally sustainable stormwater reservoir, rainwater-harvesting systems are on the rise around the world.

Public awareness and acceptance of alternative water sources is growing, and responses from manufacturers, practitioners, educators, retailers, and decision-makers are barely keeping up with demand. Two educational programs, one of awareness, the other for certification, have been developed and are being delivered across Canada. CANARM is working towards higher standards and knowledge uniformity in this new industry niche.

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6.2 Positively effecting river water quality and industrial water supply: Regional-scale water reclamation and reuse in Edmonton 

Presented By: Dr. Dean Shiskowski, Associated Engineering.
Time: Tuesday, 8:30 - 9:00 AM

Water resources are strained around the world and Alberta is no exception. The Industrial Heartland and Capital Region (IHCR) encompass the City of Edmonton, surrounding areas immediately adjacent to the City, and a spatially separated area to the northeast of the City. This hub of economic activity currently houses approximately three dozen industrial operations in a 300 plus km2 area, ranging from fertilizer production to oil refining, and whose lifeblood is the North Saskatchewan River (NSR). The Athabasca Oil Sands, Cold Lake Oil Sands, and Peace River Oil Sands regions are located in northern Alberta, yet a portion of future upgrading and refining capacity to process feedstock from these regions is anticipated to be located in the IHCR, and thus the NSR will face continued pressures in its use. In addition, the approximate 1,000,000 people living in Edmonton and the surrounding area also rely on the NSR as a source of potable water and a conduit for returning effluent back to the environment. As a result, the Province of Alberta has embarked on an endeavor to implement the Water Management Framework (WMF) for the IHCR ('the Framework') for managing water quality and quantity in the North Saskatchewan River (NSR) in this geographical region.

This case study presentation discusses what was learned during WMF Project 2, where the central question being asked was as follows – is there a compelling reason(s) to move towards a highly integrated, large-scale water reclamation and reuse system given all the regional nuances and desired outcomes?

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6.3 Assessment of rainwater management source controls in Coquitlam

Presented By: Melony Burton, City of Coquitlam.
Time: Tuesday, 9:00 - 9:30 AM

The presentation features the results of two studies and field tests conducted by the City of Coquitlam to test the effectiveness of rainwater management source controls. The study was initiated to address concerns regarding the performance of infiltration trenches and other source controls in areas with wet climates, steep slopes and poor soil infiltration. Flow monitors were installed at two identical townhome sites which each had on site infiltration trenches. One trench was plugged and the other left functioning and flow data was collected for one year. When compared, the results show that the infiltration trench site performed better than the control site and was able to achieve the DFO targets for both volume reduction and water quality. An additional study was conducted at another location to test the effectiveness of a bioswale on water quality treatment. The results demonstrated a 90% decrease in road runoff pollutants.

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6.4 The art and science of water source protection: Maximizing collaboration and reducing risk

Presented By: Reginald Whiten, InterraPlan Inc. for the City of Dawson Creek.
Time: Tuesday, 9:30 - 10:00 AM

With the prospect now on the horizon for the long-awaited BC Water Sustainability Act, local governments and water utilities there is much greater impetus for increasing management capacity and security of water supply and quality. The City of Dawson Creek's Watershed Stewardship program has created a foundation for Source Water Protection through investments in watershed science, Water smart strategies and integrated planning. This session will highlight progress achieved, the challenges faced, and the opportunities available for greater collaboration and ultimately, improved stewardship with multiple resource values and development interests.

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