What are Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices (SQIDs)?

26 July 2017

Technical terms are essential building blocks, although they are figurative assets, not physical constructs. They bolster man’s finest engineering projects by adding context to discipline-specific subjects. Among these terms, technical consultants call upon stormwater quality improvement devices (SQIDs) when they’re describing a tactic that’s intended to stop stormwater pollution in its tracks. Still, a more pragmatic explanation is available, and it all begins with water filtration technology.

Manufacturing Stormwater Quality Improvement Solutions

If pragmatism is the goal, then let’s talk about a device class that’s designed as a drain guard. These SQIDs are installed as pit guards, as devices that improve and preserve the health of waterways. Built from modern engineering plastics and wire mesh, the collective term throws light upon a specific set of engineering services. Of course, there’s more to the design than the fabrication of numerous plastic pit inserts. If that’s all there was to the device, then they’d soon cause more problems than they were solving.

Constructing an Advanced SQID Based System

As any engineer can attest, there’s rarely any single solution to an engineering brain-teaser. Stormwater quality improvement solutions are not the exception to that rule. The above man-made devices serve well as debris filtration pits. However, what if that debris carries an entire tree, broken and splintered? At the opposite, microscopic end of the scale, what about the heavy metals and toxic compounds absorbed into the flood water? Assets like trash racks and artificial gullies capture the bigger debris fields, but they won’t stop the water-suspended particulates. For that job, we again turn to wetland depressions, although these particular flora-heavy traps are synthetic. It’s here that the slow-moving waters and reeds trap and dissolve the liquidised pollutants via the forces we know as natural decay.

Are SQUIDs a Necessary Infrastructural Feature?

There’s always going to be a need for a stormwater management strategy. Newly developed land, changing weather patterns, and evolving waterway management strategies are the determining factors here, with downstream water bodies experiencing the most impact when these plans lack potency. Designed to act as the central node in a three-way relationship, the devices are installed after surface channelling strategies but before downstream water and ground features, so they’re obviously pivotal stormwater protection devices. However, whether they’re fabricated pit inserts or artificial waterways, they must fulfil their hydrologic obligations, as determined by the attending technical service.

Environmental impact studies evaluate the present stormwater flow conditions. They also extrapolate future flood potential, as it relates to the local infrastructure. It’s that study that yields feasible solutions in the form of stormwater quality improvement devices, the man-made pit inserts, gullies and wetlands we’ve covered in some detail today.

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