Skimmer Basins 101

Presentation Overview:

This presentation covers several topics related to skimmer basin design, including:

  • Standards for determining the volume of sediment storage and water storage required for sediment basins, including specific requirements from several U.S and local jurisdictions
  • Standards for determining surface area required for sediment basins, including specific requirements from several U.S and local jurisdictions
  • Different jurisdictional standards for minimum and maximum dewatering time

The presentation will also include technical guidance on how to model skimmers in stormwater modeling software packages such as SedCAD, Hydraflow Hydrographs, and HydroCAD.

We will also discuss how skimmers can be used to meet water quality requirements in permanent basins — and in some cases even to reduce basin size.

Key points from James E. Sprague’s technical paper on “Evaluating Floating Surface Skimmers” emphasize the importance of product-specific testing of skimmer flow rates to provide accurate designs. Examples will be presented to demonstrate how this can impact a sediment basin and the ability to meet regulatory requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the benefits of skimmers in sediment basins, as well the key criteria for design of skimmer basins and selection of an appropriately sized skimmer.
  • Understand the critical importance of considering flow rate rather than skimmer size when selecting a skimmer.
  • Learn how to perform advanced hydrology modeling when including a skimmer in a detention pond for permanent use.


Jamie McCutchen, Rymar Waterworks Innovations

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