October 19, 2021

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Geosyntec Engineers Coauthored an Article on Long-Term Performance of Stormwater Controls for Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment

Brandon Steets, P.E., Megan Otto, P.E., Stacey Isaac, P.E., Maia Colyar, P.E., QISP (California), and Adam Questad, P.E. (Massachusetts) coauthored an article entitled “Performance Changes during Long-Term Monitoring of Full-Scale Media Filter Stormwater Controls at an Industrial Site” for publication in the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment on September 27, 2021.

Additional coauthors are Robert Pitt, University of Alabama; Robert Gearheart, Humboldt State University; Jon Jones, Wright Water Engineers; Michael Josselyn, WRA, Inc.; Michael Stenstrom, University of California; Paul Costa, and Jeff Wokurka, The Boeing Company.

Brandon Steets is a Senior Principal Engineer based in California with more than 19 years of experience specializing in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulations, water quality modeling and monitoring, pollutant source investigation, and stormwater best management practices (BMP) planning and design.

Megan Otto is a Senior Engineer based in California with more than 10 years of experience focused on stormwater engineering feasibility studies, municipal and industrial NPDES permit support, surface water management and monitoring, and litigation support.

Stacey Isaac is an Engineer based in California with experience in a variety of stormwater management and water quality projects, including stormwater modeling and planning for TMDL compliance, conceptual design of BMPs, NPDES permit renewal for industrial facilities, and interactive model development for pollutant reduction.

Maia Colyar is a Water Resources Engineer based in California with experience in stormwater management, hydrology and watershed management, environmental chemistry/forensics, and fate and transport characterization and modeling.

Adam Questad is a Senior Engineer based in Massachusetts focused on stormwater management and water quality compliance challenges. His projects primarily include green infrastructure siting and design, hydrologic modeling to support watershed management program and NPDES compliance, stormwater resource planning, and industrial stormwater permitting strategic planning and compliance.

The Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment presents activity and research developments in water issues, challenges, and opportunities throughout the developed landscape. The scope covers sustainable stormwater management and broader water systems interactions. Subjects include urban stormwater quantity, quality, hydrology, characterization, treatability, and impacts; water harvesting; urban water ecosystem services; sustainable urban watershed management; urban streams; combined sewer overflow/stormwater interactions; urban energy/water interactions; on-site/decentralized water and wastewater systems, life cycle analysis; and related policy, implementation, and economics.


Although biofilters and bioretention controls have been extensively studied and are encouraged as effective stormwater controls, there is remaining uncertainty concerning their long-term performance and required maintenance. Most full-scale monitoring efforts have been of short duration, with no clogging or breakthrough observed. This paper describes the long-term monitoring results of media-based stormwater controls located at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) in Ventura County, California, an industrial site with historic aerospace and energy research. The 10 stormwater controls examined in this paper were grouped into four types (referred to as culvert modifications, which are media filters installed at drainage road crossings, detention bioswales having large subsurface storage, a large sedimentation pond/biofilter treatment train, and a sedimentation tank/media filter treatment train). Data were available for about 6-9 years of monitoring. This paper examines the trends in performance and usage until major maintenance is required. In almost all cases, the effluent concentrations tracked the influent concentrations, with no significant performance or effluent concentration differences with time. Silt clogging at one facility occurred as predicted based on initial laboratory tests, and the media in that control was replaced on schedule.

More Information

About the article: “Performance Changes during Long-Term Monitoring of Full-Scale Media Filter Stormwater Controls at an Industrial Site
About Publication: Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment
For consultation regarding long-term performance of biofilters and bioretention controls, contact Brandon Steets at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Brandon: Brandon Steets – Geosyntec Profile
Learn more about Megan: Megan Otto – LinkedIn
Learn more about Stacey: Stacey Isaac – LinkedIn
Learn more about Maia: Maia Colyar – LinkedIn
Learn more about Adam: Adam Questad – LinkedIn