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July 14, 2016

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Aaron Poresky Co-Authors Featured Article in Environmental Science & Technology

Aaron Poresky (Oregon) co-authored an article entitled "Smarter Stormwater Systems" in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal on May 26, 2016. Other co-authors included individuals from Clean Water Services, OptiRTC, University of Michigan, University of Toledo, Emnet, and Michigan Aerospace Corporation.  The lead author was Dr. Branko Kerkez of the University of Michigan Real-Time Water Systems Lab.

The article discusses recent advances in implementing Smart Stormwater Systems to improve the performance of stormwater management systems and increase their adaptability and resiliency. Pilot projects undertaken by Clean Water Services in partnership with Geosyntec and OptiRTC were among the projects featured in the article. A Geosyntec pilot project with the University of Texas, City of Pflugerville, TX, and OptiRTC was also featured.

Smart Stormwater Systems are a new class of systems that utilize on-site sensors and/or other real-time data feeds with controllers and advanced control logic to adapt the operation of stormwater systems in response to individual storm events and in response to longer term changes in landscape, climate, and system knowledge. These systems can often be implemented as a retrofit of existing infrastructure with limited construction effort. The benefits of controlling individual systems also show promise to be compounded through coordinated operation of multiple facilities at a system scale.

The OptiRTC systems piloted with Clean Water Services, including sensors and actuated valves installed on detention ponds, were primarily intended to protect downstream resources by reducing stream energy and flashiness of stormwater runoff, but also help improve water quality by increasing residence times. Other current applications of the OptiRTC technology include enhancement to residence time in stormwater treatment and detention facilities, optimization of rainwater harvesting systems for multiple benefits, strategic timing of releases to combined sewer systems, and other use cases.

Geosyntec collaborators on the projects featured in this article included Eric Strecker, Adam McGuire, Lucas Nguyen (Oregon), David Roman (Massachusetts), Marty Christman and Brandon Klenzendorf (Texas). Clean Water Services collaborators included Richard Boyle, Jadene Stensland, Andy Braun, and Carrie Pak.


Existing stormwater systems require significant investments to meet challenges imposed by climate change, rapid urbanization, and evolving regulations. There is an unprecedented opportunity to improve urban water quality by equipping stormwater systems with low cost sensors and controllers. This will transform their operation from static to adaptive, permitting them to be instantly "redesigned" to respond to individual storms and evolving land uses.

More Information

To obtain the article, please visit: Environmental Science & Technology

For more information on Smart Stormwater Systems, contact Aaron Poresky (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or David Roman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and visit www.OptiRTC.com.