Stormwater Solutions Engineering LLC

I.Q. [Innovation Quotient] Award winners

Carrie Bristoll-Groll
Carrie Bristoll-Groll

Stormwater Solutions Engineering LLC

Innovation: StormGUARDen stormwater management device

According to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, one inch of rainfall in the metro Milwaukee area is equivalent to 1.5 billion gallons of excess water.

Carrie Bristoll-Groll, a stormwater engineer for more than 25 years, knew there had to be a better way to conserve that water and eliminate pollutants from the waterways – particularly for smaller sites interested in water conservation and sustainability.

Bristoll-Groll combined multiple stormwater engineering practices with weather resistant material to produce StormGUARDen, the first stormwater management system that combines a rain garden and a rain barrel in one eco-friendly system.

The StormGUARDen is a composite material planter placed at the end of an outside downspout that can reduce the potential for overflows to basements that can occur with rain barrels by holding 6.5 times more water.  It is modular and removable, and designed for easy maintenance.

Not only does the system prevent runoff, but it also grows a garden and protects local waterways from stormwater pollution.

In the system, rooftop rainwater flows through a downspout into a stone-filled trough; water spills over into planting containers, where special soil filters contaminants and excess water from the containers flows to the bottom reservoir before being released into the ground.

The StormGUARDen has the capacity to store 6.5 rain barrels of water, while also growing a variety of plants, including fruits and vegetables, and removing bacteria and rooftop pollutants before releasing the water back into the ground.

Polluted stormwater is the top cause of stream impairment in urban areas and runoff can cause flooding and erosion that wash away wildlife habitats.

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