WATERSHED: Orleans Watershed
Partnerships with Underserved Schools for Characterizing Pollutants to Aid Municipal Policy Implementation for Green Infrastructure
This project seeks to advance future green infrastructure (GI) projects through a growing partnership of municipal regulators, GI professionals, and scientists by quantifying urban runoff at commercial facilities near underserved schools. Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) will collect water samples during the “first flush” of storm events at sampling locations that were selected based on accessibility to rooftop runoff (collected at downspouts) and parking lot runoff (collected at storm drains) on commercial properties. Laboratory analysis of 18 parameters will quantify pollutant loads entering the system, which will provide metrics that can be used as a comparative tool to the language within the City of New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance requiring pollutant loads be developed and proven. Rain stations have been installed at the schools and in class education days were conducted to teach students about the project and how storm water impacts their watershed. Long‐term outcomes include greater understanding of pollution inputs in underserved communities and pollution reduction into Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico by improving mitigation.
Other initiatives of the LPBF Water Quality department include reducing water quality effluent that impact rivers and streams, placing them on the 303(d) impaired waterbodies list and making local municipalities TMDL non-compliant. LPBF also focuses on Aerated Treatment Units which are small treatment systems designed to break down home waste before it enters the water systems. Because greater than 50% of these systems are improperly functioning, we educate homeowners, monitor water quality parameters, and work with local municipality to bring them into compliance.