For over 25 years, Northern California’s expert provider of industrial wash and wastewater solutions to reduce, contain and treat water

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Storm Drains: The Gateway to River and Stream Contamination

The storm drain. A flat, plain, unnoticeable window to plethora of man-made interconnecting tunnels carrying precious liquid to the natural rivers and streams that provide our water supply. That same storm drain also carries contaminants that pollute our rivers and streams making them almost hazardous to our health. In order to grasp the gravity of the situation, lets break it down into numbers we can understand and move from there.

Lets say you’re washing your personal car with a garden hose (spray nozzle attached) in the comfort of your own driveway. The garden hose pumps out 10 gallons of water per min on average. 8 of those minutes, the water is on and you are either rinsing the dirt off to start washing or rising the soap off after you’re done. The 80 gallons of wash water you produced slowly makes it’s way down the driveway, into the gutter and eventually enters the storm drain where it’s forgotten about. That water contains soap, heavy metals such as copper off of break pads and oil and grease. All of which you wouldn’t voluntarily take a nice swim in, right? That’s only 80 gallons you say…out of the millions of gallons that enter the storm drain every day, it will be diluted and won’t do any harm. You think that and so does everyone else. That is the problem, everyone thinks their negligence won’t matter and it’s someone else’s problem. Let’s extrapolate that now and think about every car rental, lease and sales company in the United States. Too big of a number to handle? Okay, lets just take car rental companies. There are approximately 21,498 car rental branches in the United States and if they’re at all successful, they’re washing at least 20 cars a day. Now for the final calculation: 10 GPM x 8 Min/Car x 20 Cars/Day = 1600 gallons of wash water going down the storm drain per location x 21,498 = a whopping 34,396,800 gallons of wash water going down the storm drain every day in the United States of America. If we thought about how many car rental locations are in Sonoma County and then thought about all that disgusting water going down the storm drain and eventually ending up in the Russian River, makes anyone with a sensible head on their shoulders think twice about taking a nice dip on a hot summer day.

Belowis an example of the loading concentration of copper, lead and zinc in a typical storm drain and the numbers are in parts per billion. As a comparison, a reasonable pollutant loading for copper would be about 500 parts per billion.

Storm Drain Samples - San Pablo cropped

There are two easy ways to reduce this insanely high about of contamination. One is containment at the source and the other is storm drain filtration and/or plugging. The Porta-Pad is the most cost effective way to contain wash water so it never gets to the storm drain. Once contained, it can be safely pumped to a sanitary sewer drain. Storm drain inserts filter a large majority of the water going through the storm drain but also has the ability to plug it up completely and act as a sump to pump water to a sanitary sewer drain. We are not saying only use our technologies, we are simply saying, use something and stop this annihilation of our water supply!

Washing Cars with a Pressure Washer Washing Cars with a Garden Hose
3.5 GPM from PW 10 GPM from garden hose
5 Min/Car – Washing time 8 Min/Car – Washing time
20 Cars/Day 20 Cars/Day
350.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars 1,600.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars
21,498.00 Car rental locations only * 21,498.00 Car rental locations only *
7,524,300.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day 34,396,800.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day
3.5 GPM from PW 10 GPM from garden hose
5 Min/Car – Washing time 8 Min/Car – Washing time
20 Cars/Day 20 Cars/Day
350.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars 1,600.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars
10,749.00 Car rental locations only 10,749.00 Car rental locations only
3,762,150.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day 17,198,400.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day
Gallons of water going to the storm drain per day
(Based on 1/2 of locations using a pressure washer)
20,960,550.00
* Data taken from 2014 U.S. Car Rental Market, Fact Book 2015 Auto Rental News

Who we’ve worked with…

US Hydrotech has over 20 years of experience in dealing with water treatment and discharge. Our client list is even longer. We have helped countless clients with major compliance issues and saving them from paying heavy fines if they didn’t meet regulations. The first step to getting into compliance is noticing you have a problem before you are told you have one. The best thing a company can do is stay on top of currentregulations and be pro-active in regards to meeting compliance. Just some of our favorite companies that we have done business with are:

Artisan Farms

Arcata, City of

ATNI, Inc.

Avis Car Rental

Bay Area Powder Coating

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Berg Holdings

Bevill Vineyard Management

BoDean Company

CALTRANS (California Department of Transportation

Clos Du Bois

College of the Redwoods

Conservation Corps North Bay

DuMol Winery

Duncan Enterprises

Empire Waste Management Systems

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Ermico Enterprises, Inc.

Freeman Toyota

Friedman’s Home Improvement

Garton Tractor

Golden Gate Bridge

Grab n’ Grow

Habitat for Humanity

Hansel Enterprises

Helical

HTI Tank Wash

HERTZ Rent-A-Car

HULS America

Imex International

International Paper

JDS Uniphase

Kendall ÔÇô Jackson

KVAL, Inc.

La Tortilla Factory

Lakeport School District Fleet and Bus Maintenance Facility

Lucas Aerospace Caro Systems

Marcassin Winery

Marin Airporter

Menlo Park Fire Department

Morton Manufacturing

National Park Service

Novato Disposal

Opperman & Son, Inc.

Pape Machinery

Petaluma Disposal

Peterson Tractor

PG&E

Pepsi Cola West

Point Reyes National Seashore

Redwood Empire Disposal

Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Santa Rosa Junior College

Sara Lee Vineyards

Scott Architectural Graphics, Inc.

Stero Company

Solid Waste of Willits

Sonoma, City of

Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Sonoma Disposal

Sonoma Soil Builders

Triumph Fabrications

VTA (Valley Transit Authority)

West County Disposal

Solution to Straw Wattles – Erosion Control and Storm Drain Management

Let me paint a very real picture for you. You are driving down the road on your way to work, you work in construction. You are working on the 101 widening project in Sonoma and Marin Counties and you are the person in charge of keeping up on the dreaded straw wattles. Those heavy, soaked, disgusting, smelly “worm like” things that are suppose to help prevent erosion on the job. The last thing you want to do is go out in the field and pull up those wattles just to put down brand new ones and have to do it all over again after one or two rain storms. What if I told you you didn’t have to?

Ertec

US HydroTech Environmental Solutions has exciting technology in the field of erosion storm drain protection with the use of ERTEC perimeter sediment controlproducts.Our system provides quicker install time, longer life of product,re-usability, is Cal-Trans approved and lets water flow through and take it’s natural course as opposed to using thosetraditionalheavy disgusting straw wattles.

A quick look at some of the incredible benefits to working with Ertec:

  • Installation Speed:Typically more than twice as fast.
  • Maintenance:There is almost no maintenance over the course of a long project, except to remove accumulated sedment. ERTEC products do not slump or decay and rarely washout.
  • Removal Speed: Typically more than four times as fast
  • Total Costs on your project:Significantly lower. And since the material is reusable, you save even more on the next project.
  • Long Term Stability:There is almost no decay, wind driven knock-overs, or trench washouts over the course of a long project. This leads to better long term performance.
  • Easy to Get it Right:Because it is easier to install ERTEC products, failures are less likely, leading to better long-term sediment control performance.
  • Water flows thru and spreads out:Traditional BMPs work by “ponding” water, creating a barrier to flow. Pressure from ponding water can cause washouts and over-topping. ERTEC filters while allowing flow-through, minimize these affects.
  • Test Results:Independent lab tests show outstanding sediment control performance for a passive device over multiple consecutive storms.
  • These products decrease the load on landfills. Better than ZERO Waste because they are:
    • Recycled: Made from Recycled Materials
    • Reusable: Reusable on multiple projects. 3, 4, 5, 6 uses are common.
    • Recyclable: Becausethey aremade of HDPE (#2),they can be recycled at the end of life.

Invasive Species – Quagga and Zebra mussels

There is a very invasive pest contaminating our oceans, lakes and rivers. It attaches itself to boats and then uses that as a host to infest other waters. Of course, we are talking about Zebra and Quagga Mussels. This invasive mussel is a major problem because it chokes the life of other species in the water and can build up clogs in pipes and drains to restrict flow and cause very damaging problems. One way to help stop the spread of Zebra Mussels is to decontaminate any vessel that enters or leaves the water by spraying it down with a high pressure, high temperature (around 160 degrees) pressure washer and capturing all the wash water on a containment pad so it can be pumped to a secure holding tank and disposed of properly. US Hydrotech provides heavy duty pressure washers that are more than sufficient to meet the required temperature and pressure needed to remove these pests. We also provide the Porta-Pad. A portable wash pad system that is designed for just these purposes of keeping wash water contained and pumping it to a safe disposal area. Join US Hydrotech in the fight to take back our water from this invasive pest, because they do more bad than good!

First, pull your watercraft onto the Porta-Pad for decontamination inspection:

D cropped for Porta-Pad manual

Then, wash your boat and check the following areas for mussel infestation attachment:

Check your boat

It’s that easy! For more information, go to www.ushydrotech.com

 

 

 

 

The Porta-Pad: Innovative, economic and sustainable solution to washing cars

Porta-Pad cropped

Washing vehicles and equipment sounds like a pretty simple process, right? Water tuns on, rinse car off, soap on car, rinse car off. No problem! Let’s stop and think about this concept for a moment and go through it step by step. First step: Water turns on – when rinsing your car, you make sure to get the whole car; paint, chrome plastic and even in all the nooks and cranny’s like wheel wells and tire rims. What many people don’t realize is that every time this happens, more and more contaminants are being introduced into the ecosystem. Heavy metals, oils and grease have proven to drastically effect ecosystems to the point where we as humans cannot consume the foods we love, such as fish. The reason we can’t is because fish and other small animals who’s existence is being threatened by impurities are being contaminated and even worse, some of these contaminants, like copper, affect fish sensory receptors preventingthem from protecting themselves as well as their ability to reproduceand therefore effectively killing off the species. That was just from step one. Steps two, three and four repeat the process to the point to where the heavy metal and oil/grease loading are so drastic that we are starting to see first hand the effects of this on a large scale in our own backyard, the good o’l Bay Area. We don’t have to be “doom and gloom” though, we can take action and claim back our favorite foods and past-times. The Porta-Pad could be that answer. The Porta-Pad is a proven simple way to wash cars, motorcycles, boats and outdoor equipment and contain the water used so it doesn’t go down the storm drain and into the waterways. Here’s how it works: Simply drive your vehicle or piece of equipment up and over the patented ramps into the Porta-Pad. While you wash, the water gets trapped on the Porta-Pad with nowhere to go. When you’ve collected enough water, simply turn on the pump by activating the suppliedtimer to pump the water into a proper disposal drain such as a sanitary sewer clean-out much like your sink, dishwasher or clothes-washer drain. After you’re done washing, simply drive the car out of the Porta-Pad and go on with your business. By adding this simple step, you have dramatically improved the ecosystem and greatly reducing the contaminants around you. Now think about if your neighbors did it? Your community did it? Your State implemented it? Your Country? One step in the right direction by one passionate person who wants to see rivers and streams safe for future generations can make a big difference. Are you thatoneperson?

Hello world!

Welcome tothe new interactive blog for US Hydrotech! Here you will be able to read interesting articles about cutting edge technology, listen to our Podcast and watch educational videos to help broaden your understanding of the importance of water and how vital it is to our existence. Keep an eye out for new articles!