Bozeman Faces Stormwater Drainage Hot Spots, Cracks Down on Requirements

Bozeman Faces Stormwater Drainage Hot Spots, Cracks Down on Requirements

News Type: State Source: Environmental Leader
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Like many municipalities across the country that are struggling with overtaxed water infrastructure, Bozeman, Montana, faces significant stormwater drainage problems. With an unprecedented boom in housing growth and numerous construction projects around town, problems like muddy sidewalks and clogged drains have cropped up, resulting in a new law strengthening stormwater requirements, according to ABC Fox Montana.

Earlier this month, city officials found that just 6% of all construction sites were complying with city requirements for mitigating dirt,fuel and debris. The revised stormwater ordinance allows for construction projects to be halted by city inspectors if it is found to be violating stormwater standards. Additionally, the city can withhold certifications until a project is in compliance with the standards.

The city’s stormwater program coordinator, Kyle Mehrens, said that over the past three years the city has trained more than 500 contractors and property owners on best management practices meant to mitigate pollution from construction activities. “Yet, a tiny fraction of the construction sites we visit are in compliance. It’s clear the City needs a harder line to force compliance and protection of some of Bozeman’s biggest assets: our healthy waters and wildlife,” he said.

Water management systems in municipalities across the country have been found to be insufficient to meet the needs of a growing population, particularly as infrastructure ages and becomes less efficient. Smart water and technology companies are benefitting from the situation, as they find a growing customer base in utilities and municipalities that see data and analytics as critical tools for overcoming the problem of crumbling water infrastructure.

More than $20 billion is slated for water metering, data management, and analytics from 2016 to 2025, globally, according to recent research from Bluefield Research.

Mounting financial pressure, forcing water utilities and municipalities to do more with less, is also driving this market growth, the analyst firm says. This has sparked an uptick in demand for innovative solutions to more cost-effectively manage billing and customer management, leakage rates and energy consumption.