Water Week at Blue, which ran from May 27th through May 31st, was the combination of two of Canada’s most notable water conferences.
Canadian Water Resources Association’s National Conference  kicked off Water Week at Blue, followed by the Canadian Water Summit , which included the Water’s Next Awards .
On Monday, May 27th, Crozier & Associates Partner and Senior Water Resources Engineer Nick Mocan presented alongside Dr. Kevin Stevens of Wilfrid Laurier University at the 2019 CWRA National Conference on how targeted vegetation plantings can be used to enhance water quality treatment in stormwater management ponds.
Their presentation covered the last 8 months of site visits, vegetation surveys, and water sampling at a stormwater management (SWM) pond near a subdivision in the Credit Valley watershed. Dr. Stevens, an expert in wetland plant ecology, discussed the science behind how plants can contribute to water quality treatment, the types of vegetation found at the site, and preliminary water quality analysis results. Mocan drew on his expertise in stormwater management to review the impact of climate change on SWM facility inputs, hydrology, and hydraulics. Mocan also highlighted how this multi-disciplinary research can help stormwater ponds cope with the effects of a changing climate.
Preliminary results show that vegetation in the subject SWM pond is performing nutrient removal year-round, but that removal rates are diminished during colder periods. However, there appear to be increasing removal efficiencies as vegetation begins to re-establish itself. Vegetation surveys also noted that volunteer species are contributing to increased species richness, but these plants may not all be desirable.
After collecting and analyzing data from summer of 2018 through spring of 2019, the research team has broadened the scope of the research, from studying not only the treatment of total suspended solids, but also to studying various plants’ abilities to treat urban runoff during rain events in the winter, when more of the vegetation is dormant.
With climate change impacting rain events year-round, it’s more important than ever to develop solutions for managing urban runoff and its effects on the environment.
The second stage of this project will involve developing targeted planting mixes based on local hydrologic, hydraulic, and environmental conditions. We anticipate these mixes will provide improved water quality treatment in SWM facilities, prevent incursions of invasive plant species, and contribute to the reduction of nutrient loading in urban stormwater that reaches lakes and streams.
WATER’S NEXT AWARDS
In addition to the CWRA conference, the Canadian Water Summit hosted the Water’s Next Awards. The Water’s Next national awards program honours the achievements and ideas of individuals and companies that successfully work to change water in our country.
The Crozier & Laurier research project was nominated for a Water’s Next Award in the category for Projects and Technologies – Stormwater. Our project didn’t win the award unfortunately, but we were honoured to have been nominated alongside other notable stormwater projects from across Canada.
We would like to congratulate the research team from Laurier Biology, including Dr. Kevin Stevens, Julia Zazzarini, Heather Jovanovic, Rebekah Hamp, and Emily Hall, along with the Crozier research team, including Nick Mocan, Katherine O’Hearn, Luke Parsons, and Amanda Pinto. Assisting the team with sampling and research were Crozier team members Jurgen Koehler, Himanshi Juneja, Jessica Visser, and Brendan Hummelen, as well as several students including Chris Kwan, Jayesh Boily, Heaven Lin, and Thiruni Thirimanne.