SCOTTSDALE, AZ, Oct. 18, 2007 -- AbTech Industries, maker of the Smart Sponge®, a patented technology that effectively removes pollutants from stormwater, today announced the final results from the Filter Project, a collaborative effort with the Long Island Soundkeeper and the public works office to improve the City of Norwalk's stormwater management program. During the two year project a total of 37,976 pounds of trash and debris were removed from the AbTech filters after three rounds of filter maintenance and cleanings, which ultimately prevented the trash from polluting the Long Island Sound.
"The results of the Filter Project is a testament to the value the AbTech Ultra Urban® Filters bring to stormwater management programs across the country ," said Glenn Rink, President of AbTech Industries. "The City of Norwalk, CT has taken an aggressive stand to clean and protect the Long Island Sound making it safe for the community to enjoy," he concluded.
The Filter Project was made possible through the support of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. With funds provided by the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the project is the largest federally funded program of its kind. The central component of the strategy involved fitting 275 catch basins in South Norwalk with AbTech Industries' Smart Sponge® Plus filtration system to catch trash, debris, animal waste, hydrocarbons, oil, grease and bacteria before they enter The Sound. The Smart Sponge technology is chemically selective to hydrocarbons, and permanently bonds them within the structure to prevent leaching or leaking of contaminants back into the environment. The system passes the EPA's Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). Once the hydrocarbons are absorbed, the Smart Sponge transforms the pollutants into easily removable solid waste.
In addition to the trash and debris removal, an analysis of the water quality was also performed with results showing the filters effectively destroyed up to 95.9% of E.Coli and absorbed 70.5% of oil and grease.. The Smart Sponge Plus material used in the stormwater catch basins contained an antimicrobial agent that has proven effective against a wide variety of microorganisms. It also acts as a fungi, static, odor, and mildew control.
"Soundkeeper has been pleased to take the lead with the City of Norwalk in this important project. Polluted run off remains the last great unregulated pollutant entering the Long Island Sound. The results displayed by the Abtech Ultra Urban Filter are just what we were hoping for," said Soundkeeper, Terry Backer.
"The City of Norwalk has been searching for over a decade for cost effective methods of managing stormwater, which is now the greatest source of pollutants that impact the health and utility of receiving waters such as the Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound," said Hal Alvord, Director of Public Works, City of Norwalk, CT. "The Smart Sponge has proven to be one such method. In addition to removing chemical and biological contaminants, the filters have captured quantities of sediments significant enough to positively impact the dredging needs of our working rivers and harbor. We intend to expand the use of this and similar technologies."
Using an innovative, analytical melt-down process, a characterization of the various contaminants found in the Smart Sponge media used in this project, documented approximately 50 pounds per filter of total contaminants with the presence of several heavy metals (copper, titanium, zinc). In addition, there was a variety of hydrocarbons, about 32 pounds per filter, (including solvents, oils, and cosmetic product components as well as chemical plasticizers).
Essentially, the installation of the filters prevented the equivalent of an oil spill of more than 1,200 gallons (based on the 32 pounds of hydrocarbons per filter, at 7 pounds per gallon) from entering the Long Island Sound. The City of Norwalk houses an estimated 10,000 drains. If the city were to retrofit the most critical areas, which total approximately 2,500 drains, it is estimated that over 82,500 lbs. of hydrocarbons or approximately 11,800 gallons would have been prevented from entering the Sound.
AbTech Industries, based in Scottsdale, AZ, is a problem-solving company that provides customized clean water solutions to meet specific community and industry needs.