BOISE, Id – Over the past few weeks, some storm drains around Boise have been fitted with what look like thick, old-fashioned welcome mats.
Cars zip by along Americana in Boise, between two city parks. On both sides of the street, light brown fiber mats cover up the storm drains.
Jason Korn “We’re looking at a Blocksom Filter; it is a natural fiber mat that is zip-tied to the storm drain to keep pollutants from entering the storm drain system and ultimately the Boise River.”
Jason Korn is a Storm Water Quality Specialist with the Ada County Highway District. He says they’ve been using the filters for about a year. The mats are temporary. In this case they’re over the drains as ACHD replaces the asphalt on Americana. Sticks, leaves, cigarette butts and other trash have crowded up around the mats. Korn says it’s a sad reminder of what normally gets flushed into the storm drain from the gutter.
Jason Korn “You know what goes into the drain is going to end up in our groundwater or in our rivers. It does not go to a wastewater treatment plant, it’s pretty much direct into our waterways so we need to pay attention to what’s going into the roads or the drains.”
Meantime, these “welcome” mats will protect the drains from sediment and debris during the road work. Once the road project is done, ACHD will use these mats for the next project around the city.
Copyright 2011 BSPR