By Cari Simson, Stormwater Programs Director

Through the Equinox demonstration site, ECOSS is raising awareness of innovative business solutions that mitigate flooding and stormwater pollution.

On a cold, overcast November morning, staff from the Port of Seattle, King County, ECOSS and local RainWise contractor Stone Soup Gardens met at Equinox Studios to learn how to install cisterns with oyster shells inside as downspout filters. The Port of Seattle has been using oyster shells on their properties for about seven years to improve water quality. Now, they’re sharing their technical expertise with others. The event included all the steps to site, install and maintain cisterns with oyster shells.

Uroosa Fatima, an ECOSS Multicultural Outreach Manager, gets hands-on experience with constructing an oyster barrel. Photo Credit: William Chen / ECOSS.

Areas with a lot of vehicle traffic can produce elevated levels of copper in stormwater, which is harmful to fish and other aquatic species. One way that copper is introduced to stormwater is from vehicle brake pads, which produce brake dust. Oyster shells have shown promising results for removing dissolved copper from water by adsorption inside the barrel — as water flows through the barrel, copper adheres to the oyster shells, which is filtered out of the water.

In the summer of 2019, ECOSS tested for baseline levels of zinc, copper and other contaminants in roof downspouts prior to Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) installations, and will test again in 2020. ECOSS seeks additional businesses to adopt these solutions and can provide technical support. For more information, or to schedule a site visit or tour, contact info@ecoss.org.

Learn more about the Equinox demonstration site

Come check out the Equinox “industrial-strength” GSI demonstration site in person on December 14th at the Equinox Very Open House! 6pm-late!

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