Seattle — Cutting-edge technology that removes toxic substances from storm water runoff was installed in three Washington boatyards in a new research project that began at the end of 2007.
The effort aims to protect water quality in Puget Sound and other nearby waters. The project was constructed in an agreement among the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).
The Storm Water Pilot Project studies the new technology-based treatment in three boatyards to control levels of copper, lead and zinc found in the facilities’ runoff into nearby bodies of water. Rain and surface water that run through boatyards pick up debris from the yard and the surrounding areas. Copper is of critical concern – a metal used in boat paint to deter plant and animal growth on boats. Studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service have shown that dissolved copper hams the sense of smell in juvenile salmon.
Manufacturers of the treatment equipment will install a different technology in each of the three boatyards to reduce the levels of the toxins in their storm water runoff. The Port of Edmonds boatyard will receive a system using passive adsorption filtration from StormwateRx in Portland, Oregon.