Quick Links:  BMP Life-Cycle Costing  -  MS4 Assessment  -  Pathogens  -  Street Sweeping

The FSA Educational Foundation has engaged in five research projects thus far, including two quantifying the load reduction value of routine maintenance activities performed by MS4 permit holders – the MS4 Assessment Projects.

BMP Life-Cycle Costing Project

Development of the BMP Life-Cycle Costing Tool was a collaborative effort between the Florida Stormwater Association Educational Foundation Board of Directors, members of the Water Management Districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Stormwater Association through Association Management Professionals, and other members of the Florida Stormwater Association.

Determining treatment effectiveness is an important part of project planning, design, grant funding, and ultimately achieving the most efficient investment of resources. However, the Florida Stormwater Association recognized that there is no industry standard for how to go about making these determinations. While there are standards for BMP efficiencies, there is not an industry standard in Florida for determining life-cycle costing. With treatment effectiveness often being one consideration in water quality grants, the absence of an industry standard leads to unequitable comparisons between projects. The tool developed under this project is being proposed as the industry standard for computing life-cycle costs for stormwater BMPs.

When developing a life-cycle cost, certain elements need to be defined such as construction costs, land costs, O&M costs, and the useful life of the installed infrastructure components. These elements need to be considered using a consistent approach to make a fair comparison between true overall project costs. This project focused on the useful life and consistent approach aspects with the goal of developing an industry standard. It did not cover capital costing, which is far too dynamic to be considered within this tool. Capital cost estimating needs to be done outside the tool and then transferred to it.

MS4 Assessment Projects

The Environmental Engineering Sciences Department within the UF College of Engineering was engaged on two occasions to assist in quantifying the load reduction values of MS4 maintenance activities.  The projects finished in 2011 and 2019 built upon a review of research reports completed for FSAEF in 2007.

Each project sampled material collected by 12 to 14 participating MS4s widely dispersed throughout Florida.  Material from three different types of BMPs (street sweeping, catch basins, etc.) located in different areas of each jurisdiction and in three different types of land use were collected.  Samples were analyzed at the UF Environmental Engineering Sciences Department lab.

The results of the research projects are incorporated into the “FSA MS4 Load Reduction Assessment Tool” which is recognized by FDEP.  The Tool calculates the nutrient content of sediment removed during common maintenance activities.  Those results are reported by MS4 permit holders to FDEP and load reduction credits are given to the jurisdiction during the BMAP process.  An updated (2019) version of the FSA MS4 Assessment Load Reduction Tool will be available soon on FDEP’s website.

FSA MS4 Assessment Project III - 2019

FSA MS4 Assessment Project II - 2011

Pathogens Project

Street Sweepings Project