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News | Feb. 10, 2020

Storm drain improvements good for installation, environment

By Environmental Management Division, DLA Installation Management Richmond

Views of white steam erupting from manhole covers around the installation might remind one of majestic geysers or whales expelling air at the ocean surface; but this warm cloud of condensation serves its own purpose for the infrastructure of Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia.

Over time, any stormwater system will begin to wear and crack. These cracks allow water and other liquids, including externally-sourced liquid, to leave the stormwater system and enter local streams. To minimize the potential for leakage, over the next several months, we will be re-lining and repairing the entire system, said Jimmy Parrish, chief, Environmental Management Division, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond.

When steam escapes from installation storm drains, it is evidence of the curing process that new fiberglass protective liners undergo as they are installed throughout the storm drain network, explained Parrish.

“There are more than 23 miles of storm drains and pipes strategically laid out across the installation,” Parrish said. “These drains capture the runoff from any storm event and discharge this runoff into the streams that border the installation.”

Parrish said because of the variety of activities that occur on the installation—construction, landscaping, and employee and contractor parking—and the contaminants they may generate, each of the stormwater outfalls to these streams are environmentally regulated.

“Our compliance with these regulations is mandated through a permit with Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality,” he said. “We routinely test and report the quality of the water that enters the streams from our stormwater system to ensure that we do not exceed the limits of our permit.” 

“These structural improvements should give us the ability to continually meet the high environmental standards that we set for ourselves for many years to come,” he said.