Making Storm Drains the Last Stop for Toxins
Rain is a welcome sight in a drought, but once it hits a city sidewalk, the freshness turns foul. Dissolved hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, and grease run largely unfiltered into the nation’s countless storm sewers–along with traces of heavy metals, pesticides, and animal feces. Then it all washes into nearby rivers or offshore outfalls. This witch’s brew, spoils fresh water, can threaten public health, and often violates Environmental Protection Agency policy.
Enviro Hazmat applies a filtration system which is manufactured by AbTech Industries, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., which has a remedy that doesn’t require digging up city streets. When dropped into existing storm water drains, the company’s Smart Sponge filter acts like a supersize sink trap. Made of a proprietary polymer that bonds permanently with oil, the high-tech mats–which look like compressed popcorn–let water pass but absorb oil, PCBs, and other toxins before they flow downstream.