Sustainable Solutions for Stormwater/Wastewater

Huff & Huff, Inc. has developed innovative sustainable solutions to stormwater and wastewater issues.  By designing systems to recycle and reuse process wastes and special waste, we can offer clients environmental benefits and significant cost savings.  Our staff also participates on several committees where sustainable solutions are an important focus.

Some examples of Best Management practices used by Huff & Huff, Inc. to address wastewater and stormwater include the following:

  • Lake Michigan—We created a first flush system to reduce chlorides and metals reaching Lake Michigan from an adjoining highway, and we successfully received regulatory support.  The pollutant loading from Lake Michigan was reduced by an average of 98 percent.
  • Big Rock Creek, Fox River and Aux Sable Creek—A combination of vegetated swales, infiltration basins, and basins with wetland plantings were used to reduce stormwater pollutants and discharges.
  • Des Plaines River/Cook County Forest Preserve—We developed the concept design for bioswales along 5 miles of Illinois Tollway on I-294.  These concepts included monitoring and maintenance plans, performance standards for plant diversity, and features such as infiltration to reduce flow velocities.
  • Lake Barrington Development—Stormwater from development was assessed to minimize runoff to a fen area.  The routing of storm flows, the creation of buffer zones, and the minimization of fertilizers and herbicides were used to reduce impacts.
  • Antioch Area Development—Low impact development (LID) practices were implemented for a commercial development near a lake with state endangered fish.  These included a commitment to no net increase in pollutants over existing land use. A variety of practices were employed: infiltration trenches, detention basins, the use of non-chloride deicers, sweeping of the parking lots, and oil and grease collectors in the catch basins.
  • Lake County Forest Preserve District—We designed water quality treatment ponds to filter and treat roadway runoff before it entered Forest Preserve Land.  We developed the planting plans for the vegetated roadside swales and the ponds.
  • Spring Creek—We were hired to complete the Facilities Plan for a wastewater treatment plant expansion that discharged into Spring Creek. The waste products from the planned hospital were of particular concern.  Thus, the selected approach addressed the pharmaceuticals and other emerging pollutants. To reduce the energy footprint, strategies included wind turbines, solar panels, and heat pumps will be used in the buildings.  Effluent polishing efforts included a wetted prairie followed by a bioswale.