STEP 2021 WEBINAR SERIES

The following free webinars are being offered as part of the STEP 2021 Webinar Series, presented by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA).

Each webinar qualifies for 0.75 continuing development hour (CDHs).

Registration options include:

Registration will close for each event at noon on the Monday before the webinar.  For additional information, please contact us at STEP@trca.ca.

Presentation Schedule: March – December 2021

* Please note that webinars and guest speakers may be subject to change.

 

March 4, 2021 – System-wide SWM: Improved stormwater management at lower capital and operating costs

Presenter: Ben Longstaff (LSRCA), Tracy Paterson (Freeman Associates Ltd), and Dustin Bambic (Paradigm Environmental)

Ben Longstaff is the General Manager of Integrated Watershed Management with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. In this role Ben provides leadership, support and strategic direction to the Authority’s watershed planning, climate change, source water protection and environmental monitoring programs. Prior to joining LSRCA, Ben spent five years with the University of Maryland. Ben holds a PhD in marine science from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Tracy Patterson is a Principal with Freeman Associates and co-founder of thewaterstrategy.com. She has worked as a business consultant exclusively servicing the water resource sector for over 15 years. Tracy specializes in systems-based planning and management and the design and use of market-based economic instruments to realize water management objectives at the greatest cost efficiency. She uses targeted research and analysis to develop and implement integrated, market-driven strategies.

Dustin Bambic is a Director and Professional Hydrologist with Paradigm Environmental, based in Nashville, TN. He specializes in stormwater and watershed-scale planning, including application of water quality modeling tools and development of web-based applications. His projects have included development of green infrastructure-driven water quality improvement strategies for municipalities in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Abstract:

The presentation will explore a new system-wide approach to Stormwater Management (SWM). Given the major challenges associated with the current state of SWM, including limited financing, aging infrastructure, expanding urbanization, a legacy of poor planning, and older areas lacking sufficient stormwater infrastructure, the LSRCA undertook a study to evaluate an alternate approach to planning and managing stormwater. The study leveraged a pilot watershed in East Holland River in the Lake Simcoe Basin to test the hypothesis that improved environmental outcomes can be realized at lower capital and operating costs via a catchment-scale approach that includes siting centralized and distributed Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) on both publicly-owned and privately-owned properties. State of the art process-based, open source continuous simulation models were used to evaluate millions of implementation strategies – LSPC was used for the ‘Current State’ baseline analysis and SUSTAIN was used for ‘Future State’ optimization of structural devices under growth and development, and climate change scenarios. Model outputs showed that implementing distributed and centralized on both public and private land at a catchment-wide scale, unconstrained by the limitations of municipal boundaries, provided better SWM capability at greater cost efficiency than the current and prevailing approach to SWM. The study determined that the target 40% phosphorus reduction cannot be achieved, at any cost, using the current practice of siting SCMs on public lands alone. Furthermore, planning and managing stormwater, via intermunicipal collaboration, generated a 28% cost savings and 30% reduction in SCM capacity over the current municipal, boundary-based approach to SWM. Phosphorus reduction strategies also had a significant co-benefit for peak flow control, leading to a 17-24% reduction of a 25-year return event.

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March 25, 2021 – How Bad Is Bad: A Novel Approach to Evaluating Geohazard Risks along Watercourses

Presenters: Diana Friesen (Town of Oakville) and Heather Amirault (Stantec Consulting Ltd.)

Diana Friesen is the Water Resources Technologist for the Town of Oakville. Diana is responsible for implementing capital projects related to stormwater and other water resources. She also manages the inventory, inspection, and monitoring programs for the town’s water resource assets, including SWM facilities, creeks, channels and shoreline. Diana is a Certified Engineering Technologist and holds a B.Sc., majoring in Environmental Science.

Heather Amirault is a Water Resources Engineer at Stantec Consulting Ltd. She specializes in the areas of stream rehabilitation using natural channel design and geomorphic assessment. Her recent projects include the removal of two dams on Idlewood Creek for fish passage in Kitchener, ON, restoration of Kokanee spawning areas after a large flood in Kelowna, BC. Heather has worked on stream restoration and assessment projects across Canada and in the US.

Abstract:

The Town of Oakville owns a significant amount of land within the valley corridors of Bronte Creek and Sixteen Mile Creek. These watercourses are confined systems within shale bedrock and high valley walls prone to erosion and instability. These valley walls were evaluated in 2018 to prioritize sensitive and high risk slopes for more detailed investigations. The methodology developed included site investigations, fluvial hazard assessments, and terrain and landslide hazard mapping. Once hazards were identified, sites were further evaluated for exposure (i.e. proximity to the hazard), and consequence (i.e. value of the resource at risk) and provided a relative risk ranking. The 10 sites with the highest ranks were identified for mitigation recommendations. Preliminary mitigation options were conceived based on the specific site characteristics. Each site was coded with the options that best suited the site and restrictions, if any, were identified. The results of this study were compared to results using the standard Technical Guide -River and Stream Systems: Erosion Hazard Limit (OMNR 2002). The study presented here provided a similar outcome, but with better differentiation of high hazard sites, due largely to the increased level of detail in our methodology. The Town is using the ranked list of sites to prioritize maintenance and monitoring. This presentation will provide an overview of the slope assessment and risk ranking methodology that was developed for the project.

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April 29, 2021 – Operationalizing LID: Performance Result from the City of London

Presenter: Bill Trenouth (AECOM)

Bill Trenouth is a Water Resources Engineer and team leader for AECOM’s London, Ontario Water Resources Division. Bill and his team provide detailed stormwater management and drainage design, construction administration, hydrologic and hydraulic assessment services and more to a range of public and private sector clients.

Abstract:

Low impact approaches to managing stormwater runoff are highly customizable and can be tailored to the opportunities and constraints unique to an individual site. But the persistent question remains “do they work”? To this end, the City of London has retained AECOM to monitor five separate LID installations throughout the City and to assess their year-round performance under typical operational conditions. Monitoring goals specific to each LID feature have guided the data collection methodology, and information pertaining to a range of volume reduction, exfiltration/drawdown, thermal, sediment removal and attenuation performance metrics have been assessed. In-pipe flow monitoring data from two separate Etobicoke-style exfiltration systems and an onsite rain gauge have been used to calibrate a PCSWMM model in order to further assess the peak flow and volume reduction performance of some LID features.

 


May 13, 2021 – Building the business case for widespread green stormwater infrastructure

Presenters: Kyle Vander Linden and Kyle Menken (CVC)

Kyle Vander Linden is a Program Manager with the Integrated Water Management team at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). Based on lessons from the field over the last 11 years in LID implementation, he provides facilitation and guidance to municipalities on critical processes for LID/GI design, construction, assumption, operation and maintenance. Kyle is a lead instructor for the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program’s (STEP) Low Impact Development (LID) training program and continues to focus on ways to improve the business case for LID.

Kyle Menken is a Technician with the Integrated Water Management team at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). Kyle’s educational background is in philosophy, classical studies, and public relations. His current focus is writing, editing and developing guidance documents, studies, and reports with the aim of improving the business case for low impact development implementation on private property.

Abstract:

This webinar summarizes the efforts of four organizations—the cities of Kitchener, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Credit Valley Conservation—to build a compelling business case for wide-scale GSI implementation. Each has financial, environmental, and social reasons for using GSI to address stormwater management in legacy developments, which we define as urban areas built before flooding or water quality controls became requirements for new development. Each case study presents the GSI solutions developed to address their respective stormwater management problems.

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May 27, 2021 – Coastal Erosion Challenges and Solutions- Lessons Learned from Case Studies
Presenter: Pippy Warburton, Michael Donahue, and Christopher Benosky (AECOM)

Pippy Warburton is a Senior Project Manager, a Senior Water Resources Engineer and AECOM’s market Sector Lead for Water Resources in Ontario and is based in the Guelph Office. She has 18 years of professional experience including managing large, complex projects that involve coordination of multi-disciplinary teams with many stakeholders such as funding agencies, conservation authorities, municipalities and advisory committees.

Michael Donahue is a corporate Vice President with AECOM, based in Michigan, he Director of AECOM’s National Coastal and Ecosystem Restoration Practice. Mike leads projects that development and implement large scale master plans that enhance coastal community resilience. Prior to joining AECOM, Dr. Donahue served for 17 years as President/Chief Executive Officer of the Great Lakes Commission.

Christopher Benosky is a Senior Coastal Engineer and a Vice President with AECOM and serves as both the North America Stormwater Resilience Lead and one of AECOM’s global Technical Practice Leaders for Coastal and Ecosystem Restoration Services. He has over 30 years of experience in coastal engineering, flood protection and risk management, ecosystem restoration design, dam and levee engineering, hydrologic, hydraulic, and hydrodynamic modeling and analyses, stormwater management.

Abstract:

What are the challenges and solutions to coastal erosion in Canada, and what we can learn from case studies across North America? How can improved erosion control practices bring about economic, environmental and community benefits? This session will address the causes of, and solutions to erosion along Canada’s marine coasts and freshwater lakes by examining several case studies and applying lessons learned. Our climate is changing; the water levels along our marine coasts and Great Lakes are fluctuating, there is higher intensity and more frequent storm events. These factors have caused more coastal erosion and flooding and thus prompted an increased focus on strategies to prepare for, respond to and/or mitigate adverse impacts on both public and private properties. This session includes the sub-themes of Integrated and Adaptive Approaches; Transboundary Water Management (Canada and US); and Policy and Governance. This session will be presented by international industry leaders who offer their experiences and perspectives via a case study approach that focuses on Canada and the United States.

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June 10, 2021 – The fate of non‐conventional stormwater pollutants in bioretention systems: microplastics, benzotriazole and more
Presenters: Jenn Drake and Elodie Passeport (University of Toronto)

Jenn Drake is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto and cross-appointed with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Her research group specializes in green infrastructure, low impact development, and stormwater management. She is the recipient of Engineers Canada’s 2019 Young Engineer Achievement Award.

Elodie Passeport is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the departments of Civil and Mineral Engineering, and Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Environmental Engineering and Stable Isotopes. Her research focuses on the fate of contaminants in contaminated urban, agricultural, and industrial environments.

Abstract:
Conventional pollutants in stormwater include total suspended solids (TSS), nutrients, and heavy metals, but increasingly, attention has been drawn to emerging pollutants such as microplastics and trace organic chemicals associated with household or industrial products, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. In this presentation, Drs. Passeport and Drake will present their findings of recent investigations of the fate of these non‐conventional pollutants in a mature bioretention cell. Dr. Drake will present the results of the first comprehensive microplastic bioretention field study. Dr. Passeport will present results from our 2018 bioretention tracer injection test, which quantified the fate of nutrients and benzotriazole. Additionally, an untargeted analysis of 84 chemicals detected in stormwater and bioretention effluent will be discussed. The results of these studies show that bioretention systems can effectively retain non‐conventional particulate pollutants like microplastics but that conventionally‐designed bioretention systems offer little treatment of dissolved pollutants, including nutrients and polar trace organic chemicals. However, our work provided direct evidence for the microbial transformation and phytotransformation (i.e., uptake and transformation in plants) of our model contaminant, benzotriazole, in‐between consecutive rain events. Ensuring proper use of the soil volume, sufficient retention time, and incorporating additives to strongly retain chemicals and sustain microbial communities are key design and operation strategies that would ensure that the full potential of bioretention cells can be harvested for efficient treatment of an extensive range of stormwater contaminants.

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June 24, 2021- Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan Implementation: Showcasing LID Retrofits
Presenter: Shannon Malloy, Tooba Shakeel, and Alexandra Veglio (CVC)

Shannon Malloy is a Specialist with the Integrated Water Management team at Credit Valley Conservation. Shannon began her career at CVC in 2013 and monitored low impact developments to verify performance and track maintenance needs. Her current role focuses on supporting innovative stormwater management studies as well as collaborating with municipal partners on all phases of low impact development implementation projects.

Tooba Shakeel a Senior Coordinator with the Sustainable Neighbourhoods team. She leads the co-creation and implementation of neighbourhood-based climate action and urban renewal plans. She uses best available science and leverages the collective knowledge and power of local communities and partners to find and implement collaborative solutions. Her work accelerates the adoption and implementation of municipal and watershed plans and programs at local level. Prior to CVC, she led urban forestry, environmental and climate action programs engaging thousands of people primarily from underserved communities in the GTA.

Alexandra Veglio has over eight years of experience working in water resources and low impact development (LID). She has a strong understanding of the importance and function of water in our environment. She has helped to implement and monitor LID projects and her experience has given her an extensive background on how these features function for both water quality and quantity control, maintenance requirements and timelines, and design and function of different facilities.

Abstract:

The Fletchers Creek Sustainable Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP) was endorsed by Brampton City Council and CVC Board of Directors in 2019. The plan aims to bring together local residents and community leaders to make the neighborhood more resilient to climate change. Like many older neighborhoods, the Fletcher’s creek area lacks stormwater management controls. As a result, Fletcher’s Creek receives stormwater runoff directly from neighborhood streets, parking lots and driveways which results in poor water quality, flooding and bank erosion. Fletcher’s creek is also a regulated habitat for the endangered Redside Dace. One of the aims of this SNAP is to retrofit parks and neighborhood streets with green stormwater infrastructure to reduce runoff, improve water quality and to promote greater biodiversity. In response to this aim the Glendale Raingarden was constructed in 2019 and the Haggert Avenue Bioswale in 2020. The presentation will also outline how the SNAP process catalyzed the implementation of these green infrastructure projects and helped to generate interest and experience for wider scale adoption.

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September 16, 2021 – Strategies for developing green infrastructure operation and maintenance capacity in the City of Toronto

Presenter:
Kristina Hausmanis (City of Toronto)

Kristina Hausmanis is the Green Streets Project Manager for Transportation Services at the City of Toronto, where she coordinates the inter-divisional implementation of green infrastructure into right-of-way projects. Kristina has more than 12 years of experience developing and implementing municipal programs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from McGill University and a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.

Abstract:

Green Streets enhance the City’s right-of-way through the implementation of Green Infrastructure (GI), such as permeable pavers, storm water tree pits, and bioretention facilities. Maintenance and operations of GI assets is critical to enable their long term function. This presentation will provide an overview of strategies underway to build capacity in GI operation and maintenance in the City of Toronto, including a pilot to leverage current and future GI and horticulture projects to create opportunities for job creation and workforce development.

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September 30, 2021 – Tree Pit Systems for Sustainable Stormwater Management

Presenter:
Paul Iorio (StormTree)

Paul Iorio is a Senior Project Engineer with StormTree, a commercial design and manufactured treatment device provider.

Abstract:

Tree pit systems integrate common street trees with stormwater management as a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional “end of pipe” practices in achieving volume control and nutrient reduction, as well as providing uncompacted soil for healthy and vigorous tree growth, while maintaining pavement support. They are well suited for residential, and commercial construction; parking lots; sidewalks and streetscapes; plazas, and; retrofit situations where stormwater conveyance is inefficient or ineffective due to aged or faulty infrastructure. Tree pit systems typically combine a precast concrete frame with an engineered soil (media) designed to collect, infiltrate and “treat”stormwater through physical, biological and chemical processes. Since trees have the ability to utilize soluble fractions of nutrients in stormwater runoff such as phosphorous, nitrogen, and metals, as well as provide supplemental irrigation for the trees during periods of drought, stormwater could be considered a resource versus a waste product. Careful and deliberate consideration in formulating and engineering the media that comprises the tree root space must take into account the geology of existing native soils, water table, utilities, building foundations, etc. The media must be designed to bear the mechanical compaction necessary to support the weight of overlying paved surfaces as to prevent settling or subsidence without altering water holding capacity and oxygen exchange. This same media must provide other necessary properties for both trees and roots to acclimate, survive, and sustain vigorous growth. Municipalities, watershed associations, and A&E firms can benefit by including tree pit systems in land use development and road reconstruction practices.

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October 21, 2021 – Under our feet and on the horizon: A two-decade review of erosion hazard assessment in Ontario

Presenters:
Roger Phillips (Matrix Solutions Inc.)

Roger Phillips is an enthusiastic advocate for environmental geoscience and professional geomorphology. A Senior Geomorphologist at Matrix Solutions Inc., Roger also teaches courses at the University of Toronto and he is an active member of PGO Council working on a number of committees including the Registration and Geomorphology committees.

Abstract:

The Ontario government’s Flood Strategy includes recommendations to further enhance natural hazard policies in the 2020 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and to update existing technical guidelines. As flooding and erosion hazards are inextricably linked, this is an important opportunity to update the associated technical guidelines for erosion hazard assessment after over two decades of service. The 2002 flooding and erosion hazard guidelines were prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF) to assist the public and planning authorities, such as municipalities and conservation authorities, with an explanation of the Natural Hazards Policies (3.1) of the PPS of the Planning Act starting in 1996. They were also referenced under the Adaptive Management of Stream Corridors in Ontario publication and in the PPS updates in 2005 and 2014. The Geomorphology Subcommittee for Professional Geoscientists Ontario has reviewed the erosion hazard guidelines and has submitted letters to MNRF recommending updates to address specific technical issues; general scientific and technological advancement; and guiding principles for policy application. An essential topic to be emphasized is climate change risk. This presentation will communicate these recommendations more broadly to industry as MNRF begins the guideline update process in 2021. Some of the gaps in the existing guidelines will also be highlighted based on recent initiatives by Credit Valley Conservation to provided guidance on vertical scour analysis and instream erosion thresholds for stream and river channels.

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November 4, 2021 – Integrating Green Infrastructure in Constrained Urban Sites

Presenter:
Sonja Vangjeli (Waterfront Toronto)

Sonja Vangjeli is a Landscape Architect and Design Project Manager at Waterfront Toronto, where she oversees design and implementation of public realm projects that aim to integrate nature‐based solutions with urban infrastructure. Interested in the potential of streets and public realm to contribute to the greater urban landscape system as vital ecological infrastructure, she works on urban design strategies that balance development priorities, with site identity, public amenity, and ecological performance. She has international experience as Landscape Designer with West 8 and Sasaki, and as Researcher with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure. She is an alumna of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (MLA) and University of Waterloo School of Architecture (MArch). She has taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture Landscape and Design, and continues to pursue her research interests through publications and conferences.

Abstract:

Integrating nature based solutions into urban infrastructure has become an important policy objective to mitigate climate change impacts and make a more resilient urban landscape. However urban waterfront sites present several challenges which require creative solutions and revised standards. Drawing from examples of streetscape designs and an implemented pilot project on Toronto’s waterfront, the presentation will explore the many challenges of integrating green infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) principles into highly constrained and regulated urban environments.

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November 25, 2021 – Students for Stormwater: An Aggregated Approach to School Rain Garden Implementation – Where We Are and Lessons Learned

Presenters:
Alexandra Veglio and Amanda Slaght (CVC)

Alexandra Veglio has over eight years of experience working in water resources and low impact development (LID). She has a strong understanding of the importance and function of water in our environment. She has helped to implement and monitor LID projects and her experience has given her an extensive background on how these features function for both water quality and quantity control, maintenance requirements and timelines, and design and function of different facilities.

Amanda Slaght is a Coordinator on the Integrated Water Management team at Credit Valley Conservation and has been a part of STEP since 2010. She has been involved in monitoring of LID, development of the LID Life Cycle Costing Tool, development of curriculum and e-learning courses, and coordination of LID training for professionals and the Students for Stormwater program. During her work she has developed a strong understanding of how LID features function as well as the design and maintenance.

Abstract:

Over the past few years, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has installed five successful rain gardens at schools within the Credit River watershed and has received numerous requests from schools, teachers, and parents for additional rain gardens. Instead ofapproaching each school request as its own project, CVC decided to capitalize on cost savings by aggregating rain garden projects together to build economies of scale, maximize process efficiencies, and expedite the implementation of climate change adaptation practices to improve resiliency against increased stormwater runoff, aging infrastructure and improve water quality to the Credit River and Lake Ontario. These projects are also a great learning tool for teachers and students as an outdoor classroom, allowing for experiential learning without leaving the school property which is now very important with Covid-19. Credit Valley Conservation was a successful recipient of the most recent EcoAction Community Funding Program, receiving almost $100,000 to protect, rehabilitate, enhance and sustain the natural environment while getting the community involved. Six fusion rain garden projects will be implemented in the Region of Peel by CVC over a three year period, combining some of the partnership building, administration work, design work, and implementation to reduce the time and costs that are traditionally spent on single projects.  With this project at its half way point, this webinar will highlight the process so far and the lessons learned along the way and provide suggestions for those looking to install rain gardens on their property.

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December 9, 2021 – Building the One-Stop Shop for LID Guidance in Ontario: The Latest Enhancements to the LID Stormwater Planning and Design Guide

Presenter:
Dean Young (TRCA)

Dean Young is a Project Manager with the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Dean’s work focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of innovative water and soil management technologies in an Ontario context. He manages applied science research projects and develops knowledge transfer tools to overcome barriers to widespread implementation of proven technologies. Dean’s most recent work includes guidance on the design, inspection, and maintenance of low impact development stormwater infrastructure and soil management best practices. Dean also participates on national standards development committees relating to the design and construction of stormwater infrastructure.

Abstract:

The LID Stormwater Management Planning and Design Guide Wiki was launched in March 2019 as a joint initiative of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Developed in consultation with representatives from federal and provincial ministries, municipalities and industry stakeholders, the online guide is the first of its kind in Canada, and provides a new digital resource for sustainable stormwater planning and design that is well-suited to an era of innovation and rapid evolution. This webinar will provide an overview of the Guide and highlight recent and forthcoming enhancements, including (i) the addition of information from existing LID Guides on construction and inspection and maintenance (ii) integration of planning and design tools like the LID Treatment Train and Life Cycle Costing Tools and BMP checklists, and (iii) BMP performance data gathered from local and international sources.

Click here to register for this webinar


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