Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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Page 18 of 50 Landscape and Irrigation October 2017 19 Helping Hoboken manage water runoff Between its location on the Hudson River's floodplain and being only three feet above sea level at its lowest point, Hoboken floods easily and often. That leads to numerous problems with contaminants. "When it rains, runoff goes into same sewer that holds waste," said Fassman-Beck. "The sewer pipe doesn't have the capacity to carry all of it to the treatment plant, so some runoff flow bypasses the treatment plant and discharges untreated runoff directly into the Hudson River. When those water treatment systems were originally conceived, no one imagined there would be such a huge population buildup as there is now." Hoboken needs water management solutions that work in highly developed urban locations. That means, "putting small small-scale water-retention systems everywhere," said Fassman-Beck. "We can't take up a parking space to build a rain garden. Instead, we want to optimize bioretention planter design to have meaningful impact. We want to know how small is too small for one of these systems, and figure out the potential for widespread implementation here in Hoboken." That local application is key to the Living Laboratory, as Fassman-Beck and her students are working with multiple entities to find green infrastructure solutions to the runoff problem. "We see green infrastructure technologies as superior, cost-effective ways to keep rainwater out of the sewer, as opposed to building bigger treatment plants and sewer systems," Fassman-Beck added. "Green infrastructure systems prevent runoff from getting into sewers in the first place, and that keeps them from overflowing once they've hit capacity." Proving validity in real-world conditions In order to learn which systems will work best, Fassman-Beck not only has to run experiments; she has to get usable results. Getting those results outside of a lab environment requires meticulous planning.

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