Thursday, January 17, 2013

Muddy plumes in Monona Bay caused by the Ghidorzi Companies

This is a summary of the sediment spills into Monona Bay by construction at 1102 S. Park St., by the Ghidorzi Companies.

The demolition and construction progressed from May of 2012 to July of 2013. During that time, Steve Vanko and David Thompson documented--with the photos shown below--13 sediment spills to the bay, and one extreme dust incident.

Since both Vanko and Thompson were out of town for weeks at a time, and some storms occurred at night, so additional spills probably went undetected.

These spills were the result of failure to follow many elements of the required erosion control plan, which we'll document elsewhere.

For each event below, we have additional photos and videos posted on Flickr, showing the deficiencies on the construction site. Here, we post only a few photos of each event.  Click on the photo to enlarge.

A lawyer for Ghidorzi Companies claimed that the muddy plumes in the bay come from other construction sites nearby.  We can refute this claim in several ways.  For some of the sediment spills, there was no other construction site in the area at the time.

And for every event, we can either show with photos that there was indeed much muddy runoff coming off the site, and going into the stormsewer, or we can show sediment in the gutter, along with other deficiencies in erosion control at the time of the storm.   And, we often take photos of other stormwater outfalls into the bay, showing they do not have muddy plumes.

#1. July 18, 2012, with a storm of 1.43 inches.

There were two big storms, one during early morning, and the other in late afternoon.

A large amount of plastic insulation was flushed to the bay. This photo from the morning, shows the 10-15% that remained, after a city Vactor truck tried to suck up the debris .

At about 8:19 pm, the blue storm pipe across the street from Steve's house was dumping mud into the bay.  

#2. October 14, 2012, 1.74 inches (and .86 inches the preceding day).

About noon, Steve returned from a weekend trip, and noticed a lot of muddy runoff coming into the bay.Steve called the City, then began taking photos of the muddy plume spreading south and east along the bay.  

Next, Steve went to the construction site and saw a lot of muddy water escaping from under the silt socks, and running down the gutter on Park Street. 
More photos

#3. October 16, 2012. Pumping water from construction site.

In the mid afternoon, Steve saw muddy  plume in the bay, despite sunny weather.  So Steve called the City--a Vactor truck and a pickup truck responded.  Photo shows the muddy plume spreading north along the shore.  More photos.

#4. October 17, 2012--a storm from mid-afternoon to evening of .62 inches.

Some of this mud may have come  from large amounts of dirt  spilled on Park St--which we observed on Oct. 16.  More photos.

#5. October 22, 2012, .51 inches, starting early afternoon

Despite a meeting on Oct. 18, between Steve V, neighbor Tom Ulrich, City Officials, and the Ghidorzi contruction manager Art Rassias, the outcome today--a muddy plume--was the same as on the 17th.  Even though Steve called Greg Fries at 2:40 pm today, the muddy plume was still coming into the bay at 5:00 pm.  More photos.

#6. January 29, 2013. Rainfall all day of 1.84 inches.

The pollution continues, despite winter.  Large piles of soil have been moved about the site.

I checked the site twice--once in early morning, and the other in the afternoon.  On both occasions, muddy water was seen leaving the north end of the site, both onto Fish Hatchery Rd, and onto Park St, then running down the gutters and into the storm sewers.

At both times, muddy water was entering the Bay, creating a muddy plume. More photos

March 10, 2013. During rain and thaw.

A muddy plume was not observed, because Monona Bay was covered by ice and snow.  However, there was a heavy flow of muddy runoff moving down the gutter on Park St from Ghidorzi.

More photos.

#7. April 9, 2013, during thaw and rain of 1.46 inches.

Heavy muddy runoff was seen coming down Park St from Ghidorzi, entering a sewer without the required filter.

This runoff dumped into the bay from both the blue pipe (right) and the overflow concrete culvert (below).  Setting the stage for this event, we observed extremely dirty gutters on 3/26 and 4/6.

The flow to the bay was heavy, with a muddy plume extending far along the shore.

More photos.

#8. April 17, 2013. 1.29 inches.

There is muddy runoff coming down the gutters of both Park St and Fish Hatchery Rd.  The inlet filters do not seem to be properly installed, or are the wrong type.

The muddy plume extends far out into the bay.

More photos.

April 26, 2013.  Blowing dust.

There were strong winds from about 10 am to 10 pm, blowing towards the hospitals.  The maximum gust speed at Truax was 32 mph. At times the dust was so heavy that traffic at the busy intersection was obscured.

The view is looking towards Park St from Fish Hatchery.  Video.

#9. May 17, 2013. Thunderstorm in late morning, .53 inches.

Runoff came mostly down Fish Hatchery Rd.

A muddy plume came from both the blue pipe and the concrete culvert...

and extended some distance out into the bay. The runoff coming from other outfalls in the bay nearby was less muddy.

More photos.

#10. May 20, 2013. Early morning thunderstorm of .59 inches.

Since the storm occured about 1-2 am, we weren't able to show runoff in the gutter, or coming out of the pipe into the bay.  However, there was much dirt in the gutter along Park Street, and sediment around the stormwater inlet filter (right).

Muddy water in the bay, localized around the outfalls in front of Steve's house,
indicate that there was certainly a muddy plume during this storm.

More photos

#11. May 28, 2013. Thunderstorm of 1.0 inches in early morning.

By the time photos were taken around 9:00 am, it had stopped raining.
But muddy runoff was still coming out the blue pipe into Monona Bay.

 More photos

#12. June 12, 2013. Thunderstorms with 1.69 inches.

A muddy plume was observed at 6:30 pm (right), and again at 9:30 pm.  You can see a zone of muddy water along the shore to the south, and extending far out into the bay.

This time, the muddy runoff was mostly coming down Fish Hatchery Rd (right).

The runoff came out of the construction entrance, and through silt socks, which had been moved out of the proper position.

More photos

#13. June 26, 2013.  Heavy storm in early morning--3.19 inches.

The muddy plume is partly obscured by the high water level.  Here the discharge comes from the concrete culvert, located next to the blue pipe, now submerged.

Muddy runoff runs down the gutter from
Ghidorzi, and into the stormsewer.  This sewer goes directly to the culvert above.  In the gutter across the street, the water was much cleaner.

At Ghidorzi, muddy water runs around the half-completed sediment fence, and through gaps in the haphazardly arranged silt socks.

More photos.

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