Blog Archives

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28 Jan 2019, 03:36

This year’s Annual Compost and Composting Mega-Conference and Trade Show hosted by the US Composting Council brings the theme Renew and Regenerate to the desert in Phoenix, Arizona.This week long event is designed to show case new developments in organics recycling, compost manufacturing, and compost utilization for the betterment of society and the environment.Whether you are interested in the latest technology and equipment used at large scale composting operations, educational and technical sessions on new markets and applications for compost use, compostable plastics, new environmental research on compost use and water quality, or new policies and infrastructure programs helping to increase organics recycling and use, there is a little something for everyone.

As one of the largest compost users in North America this event (and host organization) is critical to Filtrexx’s past success and our future growth.This is where we interact with many of our suppliers, often find new ones, and share with the industry new developments Filtrexx is researching or commercializing in compost used for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management. We have strong roots with this industry, as our success is a shared one, so we look forward to this annual event unlike any other.Just as our technology is used to regenerate disturbed soils and landscapes from coast to coast, we hope to meet you in Phoenix to both share and learn how recycled organics can really push the Renew and Regenerate envelope in 2019.


Dr. Britt Faucette, Ph.D., is an Ecosystem Scientist, CPESC, and LEED AP. He earned his Ph.D. from the Odom School of Ecology at the University of Georgia where he researched soil-water-plant performances of various BMPs used in soil erosion and stormwater management applications; served as a state specialist in storm water management, organics recycling, and pollution prevention programs; and served as an adjunct professor. Britt coordinates research, design, and training services for the stormwater and organic materials management industries and serves on technical committees and boards with ASTM, GRHC, CCREF, and IECA. In 2008 he was awarded the annual USCC Clean Water Award. Britt has authored numerous peer-reviewed and popular press publications and popular press articles, two books, federal and state specifications, and has been awarded nearly $500,000 in research grants.


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21 Jan 2019, 10:07

Problem: A family living on a beautiful lakefront property outside of Milwaukee had major concerns about the slope stability outside their home as well as having access to the beach at the water’s edge. From the view from the back porch windows, the home was right at the edge of the slope. The slope needed stabilization and Marek Landscaping, LLC was hired to design and implement the project.

Solution: A wall of GreenLoxx with GroSoxx were selected for the upper portion of the bluff. The wall would stabilize the area directly adjacent to the home, adding eight feet of yard to the upper terrace. To provide access to the beach, the team determined that a cantilevered deck would provide a dramatic and functional connection between a stone stairway and the trail leading to the beach. The living wall would be the foundation from which the deck and stairs would be anchored. It would provide the access to the beach and beautiful views of the coast. Marek’s landscape architect and in-house ecologist developed a plant and seed mix created specifically for the cultural needs and stabilization properties of the plants on the site. Careful on-site direction was provided to ensure efficient and exact implementation of the soil stabilization, planting, trail and overlook construction.

Success: The 90-foot long by 15-foot high GreenLoxx wall consisted of lightweight geo-foam block backfill material, soil anchors and 3” galvanized pipe tied to layers of geogrid wrapped around every two layers of the GroSoxx at the face of the wall. Weight and size of assemblies were critical in design criteria as there was only five feet of space between the neighboring houses. The stairs and landing that connect the overlook deck and bluff trail were custom fabricated using aluminum, wood and stainless steel assemblies that curve and flow with the shape of the GreenLoxx wall.


As the Marketing Manager for Filtrexx, Teele works heavily in the digital and social arenas of marketing, running the Filtrexx Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. She also serves as writer and editor of press releases, project profiles and most recently, the Filtrexx blog. Teele attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and a Master of Science in corporate communication. Teele has worked in marketing roles for various companies around the Twin Cities before landing at Filtrexx in July, 2017.


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14 Jan 2019, 03:49

Get to know: Jeff Opel, Southeast Sales Manager

What is your role at Filtrexx?

My main responsibility is to support, and train our sales force that serve the Southeast and Central United States. In addition to that role, I focus on the development of our products, supporting the stream restoration and coastal restoration industries.

What do you like most about working for Filtrexx?

Since I found Filtrexx 17 years ago when I was a regulator in Maryland, I was, and still am impressed about the energy, creativity, and support we provide the industry. I firmly believe we are focused on solutions over “just selling a product”. That ethic separates us from the rest as we are partners with those who design and install all of our products.

What do you find is the most challenging about working for Filtrexx?

That’s simple: Getting the point across that what humans have been doing for the last 30+ years in sediment control has not worked and that products like Filtrexx represent the next 30 years.

What has been one of your most favorite projects?

That’s a hard one. This may sound corny, but it’s not a project in the pure sense, but working with team members that are new to Filtrexx and selling and watching them grow as a person and a professional. Having been in the environmental business for over 40 years it’s important for me to transfer all that I have learned to the next generation of professionals.

What have you learned that you did not know before becoming a Filtrexx employee?

How not to sell a product, but to help guide customers to see the value of Filtrexx.

What are your hobbies outside of Filtrexx?

Fishing, although I’m not catching much. I do spend a fortune on bait with little success. Learning to carve duck decoys, spending time at the beach, and spending time with friends.

Any random facts we should know about you?

At one time, I was one of the largest Shiitake mushroom producers in Maryland.



Jeff Opel has 30 years of experience in the natural resources industry. Many of those years were served as District Manager of several Soil Conservation Districts in Maryland.As District Manager Jeff was responsible for advancing new and innovative sediment and erosion control technology used during the construction process. Jeff also administered the State of Maryland’s Living Shoreline program in several Counties in the state and participated in the development of several stream restoration projects. New advanced technologies used included the use of Flocculating agents to increase the efficiency of existing sediment control techniques. Jeff also created designs for multi chamber sediment basins incorporating bio filters to increase trapping efficiency. It was at this position that Jeff became familiar with Filtrexx which was used with great success. Since leaving the government service after 20 years Jeff ran a field office for a civil engineering firm in Delaware, as well as several landscape companies, before coming to Filtrexx. With Filtrexx Jeff has worked in business development for the mid-Atlantic, and in Technical Sales support for the Southeast region. Presently Jeff represents Filtrexx as the Southeast Regional Sales Manager and is actively developing Filtrexx initiatives related to stream restoration and living shorelines.


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18 Dec 2018, 03:31

As the year comes to an end, we’d like to take a look back at an eventful 2018 with our favorite moments from each month:

January: We kicked off the year and tradeshow season at COMPOST2018, the annual conference for the US Composting Council.

February: Dr. Britt Faucette & John Paoluccio spoke at the IECA Annual Conference on the topic of Compost-Based Biofiltration Practices in Urban Runoff and MS4 Stormwater Permit Compliance Applications.Dr. Craig Kolodge also spoke, on the topic of Three Keys to Successful Living Shorelines - Containment, Reinforcement and Organic Media.

March: With the help of EcoPractices, we calculated our 2017 Environmental Impact and announced the statistics on how our Sustainable Management Practices positively impacted the environment.

April: The Spring issue of WEF Worldwater Stormwater Management magazine featured an article by John Paoluccio titled Catch Basin Inserts: Last line of defense in stormwater treatment (page 31), explaining the operation, benefits, and applications of these devices.

May: Filtrexx sponsored the annual Composting Council Research & Education Foundation (CCREF) Young Investigator Scholarship for young professionals in the field of compost research.

June: A unique GreenLoxx wall was installed in Lakewood, OH. The grown out after photo from a few months later shows how well this natural, vegetated feature works with traditional hardscapes.

July: The Filtrexx Blog officially launched – we’ve enjoyed sharing industry news and knowledge from our partners and experts each week!

August: Dr. Britt Faucette spoke at StormCon, The Surface Water Quality Conference on the topic of Ecosystem Service Benefits of Compost-Based Sustainable Management Practices.

September: Filtrexx joined the 7th annual Storm Water Awareness Week by participating in five workshops across the state of California.

October: We took a look at what it really means for sediment control products to meet state and federal requirements on the blog.

November: Filtrexx welcomed our new General Manager, Chris Freitag, and wished a great retirement to Rob Carrothers.

December: Dr. Craig Kolodge spoke at the National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management on the topic of Using Organics for Coastal Resiliency: Upland to Coastline.

That’s a wrap on 2018 – from all of us at Filtrexx we look forward to working with existing and new customers and partners in 2019, and wish you all a Happy New Year!



As the Associate Marketing Manager for Filtrexx, Kristin specializes in print & digital marketing, graphic design, and website management. She also serves as the moderator for the monthly Filtrexx Webinar Series. Kristin attended the University of Toledo where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in both communication and environmental studies. After completing multiple internships with Filtrexx, she officially joined the Filtrexx team in 2010. In her free time, she enjoys exploring local parks with her husband, spoiling their two golden retrievers, and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.


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10 Dec 2018, 03:43

What would nature do? This is the driving force in how we approach problem solving, product innovation, and site design solutions. If you look close enough nature often provides a perfect blueprint for efficiency, performance, and sustainability, and you can find this guiding principle in each of our major product lines from SiltSoxx and EnviroSoxx - relying on natural materials and principles of water biofiltration, to our Living Shoreline and Bank Stabilization technologies - relying on natural materials and native plants to restore natural water cycles and protect biological diversity – all while restoring natural carbon cycles as a fundamental design feature. It is no coincidence that organic matter is the foundational material for all Filtrexx products, just as it is for all soil ecosystems worldwide. This essential material maintains local and global water and carbon cycles, filters pollutants, minimizes stormwater and soil erosion, and is the foundation material for plants and the soil food web.

Preservation of organic matter (often referred to as natural capital) at the landscape and watershed scale is where each of us can have the greatest impact. However, preservation is not always feasible due to economic, land area, and land development constraints. Designing or reestablishing organic matter, back into the landscape, can be just as important. Selecting native plant materials and native sources of organic matter will help to ensure maximum performance and health of above and below ground ecosystems; and when designed appropriately will help restore and sustain ecosystem services. This type of design also builds stability and resilience within the system to protect against future, unforeseen disturbances and disasters, both human and environmental.

The basis for this type of innovation and design is rooted in Biomimicry. Biomimicry is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems – it is innovation inspired by nature, according to Janine Benyus, founder of the Biomimicry Institute. Adoption of this approach to problem solving at Filtrexx has moved beyond product development, innovation, and design, and has now become ingrained in our culture.We have developed principles of Biomimicry to move beyond the idea of solely creating best management practices (BMPs) for our industry, to challenging and leading our industry with truly sustainable management practices (SMPs) – the next level of BMP.

By adopting and utilizing sustainable management practices we surpass simply reducing environmental footprint, and into restoring ecosystems, rebuilding natural capital, and enhancing ecosystem services, locally and globally.We define a sustainable management practice as: made from natural, biologically-based/organic materials; recycled and easily recycled for future use; locally manufactured from locally available materials; carbon neutral; made with minimal embodied energy, and has a low life cycle cost.Creating truly sustainable management practices is our commitment to our customers, our industry, and the sites and watersheds in which we deploy our products and services. “The biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” – Steve Jobs




Dr. Britt Faucette, Ph.D., is an Ecosystem Scientist, CPESC, and LEED AP. He earned his Ph.D. from the Odom School of Ecology at the University of Georgia where he researched soil-water-plant performances of various BMPs used in soil erosion and stormwater management applications; served as a state specialist in storm water management, organics recycling, and pollution prevention programs; and served as an adjunct professor. Britt coordinates research, design, and training services for the stormwater and organic materials management industries and serves on technical committees and boards with ASTM, GRHC, CCREF, and IECA. In 2008 he was awarded the annual USCC Clean Water Award. Britt has authored numerous peer-reviewed and popular press publications and popular press articles, two books, federal and state specifications, and has been awarded nearly $500,000 in research grants.


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3 Dec 2018, 09:21

Problem: In May of 2010, a suburb of Nashville experienced torrential downpours. Two straight days of rainfall in what equated to 420 billion gallons of water fell on the city of Brentwood, Tennessee. The city received an unprecedented 14-17 inches of rain causing extensive damage to homes, mud slides, damage to roads and bridges and even generated several fires. Several homes along a tributary had lost several feet of land in their backyards. Erosion of these parcels continued unabated causing major financial loss for the homeowners.

Solution: Brentwood’s Public Works Department along with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) reached out to Mid-TN Erosion Control, a company they had worked with in the past, for a solution. Mid-TN referred them to Filtrexx GroSoxx to help stabilize the bank. The tributary was a Designated Blue Line Stream, meaning there were strict rules about what could be used to stabilize the bank. They were looking for a green option.

Success: TDEC approved the proposal to use GroSoxx to mitigate the loss of land. The GroSoxx were pre-seeded with native species to ensure there would be successful grow out. Mid-TN Erosion stabilized a 530-foot section of bank, at an average height of four feet. GroSoxx were installed in successive courses along with geogrid to provide structural protection, control erosion and establish and reinforce vegetation all in one system. The application has been specifically developed to withstand high flow velocities and stresses that conventional products could not. Eight weeks later, the GroSoxx had proven effective and the homeowners were ecstatic with the results.

Interested in working together on a bank stabilization or Living Shorelines project? Visit filtrexx.com for more information.



As the Marketing Manager for Filtrexx, Teele works heavily in the digital and social arenas of marketing, running the Filtrexx Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. She also serves as writer and editor of press releases, project profiles and most recently, the Filtrexx blog. Teele attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and a Master of Science in corporate communication. Teele has worked in marketing roles for various companies around the Twin Cities before landing at Filtrexx in July, 2017.


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12 Nov 2018, 05:03

The Composting and Organics Association of Missouri (COAM) recently received grant funding from the St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to hold an upcoming free workshop: Soil Specifications and Management with a Changing Climate. COAM is a non-profit corporation of public and private organizations and individuals dedicated to increasing the quality, value and usage of recycled organics in Missouri by providing education, information and resources and promoting activities and legislation that build healthy soils, benefit people and minimize negative environmental impacts.

I am a horticulturist with over 30 years of experience working with compost in a variety of applications; all over the United States (and the world). I have also been involved in developing the national compost testing program (the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program), and many state and national compost use specifications. I am looking forward to attending and speaking at the COAM workshop. I will discuss in detail how to best specify topsoil and compost and how to specify their usage in future projects. Key parameters to include in topsoil and compost specifications will be reviewed as well as practical applications of both. Additionally, this workshop will also review regional and other specifications for the use of compost in bioretention soils and rooftop garden media. Finally, the workshop will illustrate how recycled organic products - compost and mulch - can be used to create and manage soils and improve plant growth.

The workshop will be held November 15 at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri and registration is limited. Register today and I hope to see you all there!


Ron Alexander has over 30 years experience in composting and organics recycling. He was instrumental in drafting AASHTO specs for compost blankets, berms and socks and working with state DOT’s on the adoption of AASHTO specs across the US. Ron has also helped to secure funding and coordinate university research and project implementation for compost blanket, sock performance and flood control applications with WRAP in the UK. Ron is the nation’s most experienced compost marketing consultant, completed over 400 related consulting projects, worked with over 200 composting and organics recycling facilities throughout North America and the World and has written over 300 papers and presentations.


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5 Nov 2018, 03:23

As the Filtrexx webinar series wraps up its fifth year, get ready to mark your calendar for the upcoming 2019 series. The monthly Filtrexx webinar series has been going strong since 2014, providing over 4,500 hours of free industry education.

Topics include the use of various compost-based BMPs for Sediment Control, Pollutant Removal, Low Impact Development and LEED/Green Building. Each webinar includes a Q&A session and attendees receive a certificate of attendance. These sessions are perfect for engineers, project managers, architects, environmental compliance managers, and inspectors looking to stay current in the fields of erosion control and stormwater management.

Webinars are presented by Dr. Britt Faucette, Ph.D., CPESC, LEED AP. Britt is an Ecosystem Scientist and the Director of Research, Technical, and Environmental Services at Filtrexx. He earned his Ph.D. from the Odom School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He coordinates research, design, and training services for the stormwater and organic materials management industries and serves on technical committees and boards with ASTM, GRHC, CCREF, and IECA. In 2008 he was awarded the annual USCC Clean Water Award. Britt has authored numerous peer-reviewed and popular press publications and popular press articles, two books, federal and state specifications, and has been awarded nearly $500,000 in research grants. Britt frequently presents at industry conferences such as IECA, StormCon, and US Composting Council..

Register now for the 2019 webinar series:

Wednesday Jan 16, 11am EST – Sediment Control: Register Now
Wednesday Feb 13, 11am EST – Pollutant Removal: Register Now
Wednesday Mar 20, 11am EDT – Low Impact Development: Register Now
Wednesday Apr 17, 11am EDT – LEED & Green Building: Register Now
Wednesday May 15, 11am EDT – Sediment Control: Register Now
Wednesday Jun 19, 11am EDT – Pollutant Removal: Register Now

Looking to squeeze in some education this year? Join us in one of our final two webinars of 2018:

Wednesday Nov 28, 11am EST – Low Impact Development: Register Now
Wednesday Dec 19, 11am EST – LEED & Green Building: Register Now


As the Associate Marketing Manager for Filtrexx, Kristin specializes in print & digital marketing, graphic design, and website management. She also serves as the moderator for the monthly Filtrexx Webinar Series. Kristin attended the University of Toledo where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in both communication and environmental studies. After completing multiple internships with Filtrexx, she officially joined the Filtrexx team in 2010. In her free time, she enjoys exploring local parks with her husband, spoiling their two golden retrievers, and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.


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29 Oct 2018, 05:22

Problem: The St. Louis Missouri Metropolitan Sewer District owns and maintains 3,000 miles of stormwater sewers around the metropolitan area, and prior to 2012 had nearly 400 combined sewer overflows. Stormwater management and surface water quality in the city was poor and there were impending violations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. A consent decree was met and the Metropolitan Sewer District was obligated to spend nearly $7.5 billion on stormwater and surface water quality improvement projects. As part of this decree, they were chose to use compost-based bioretention systems for land disturbing activities that were one acre or larger.

Solution: St. Louis Compost brought in Filtrexx as a consultant to train the Metropolitan Sewer District on compost-based sustainable management practices (SMPs). The training included performance metrics and the supporting science behind these practices, how to understand and interpret lab reports, and developing compost-based bioretention specifications and engineering criteria requirements.

Success: This training lead to new standards in the St. Louis metro area. It ultimately lead to a large increase in interest in compost-based bioretention systems by the surrounding counties and municipal governments. This significantly increased the use of compost and allowed for St. Louis Compost to be the leading supplier for these applications in the metro area. The Metropolitan Sewer District moved forward in meeting critical consent decree obligations and goals with the EPA. Since 2012, nearly 2,700 bioretention systems have been installed in the region using an average of 750 cubic yards of compost per installation, totaling 2,025,000 cubic yards of compost. Additionally, the quality of the compost in the region increased as the Metropolitan Sewer District better understood specifics of compost quality while also greatly improving water quality across the metropolitan region.

Interested in working together on compost-based solutions for your city? Visit filtrexx.com for more information.


As the Marketing Manager for Filtrexx, Teele works heavily in the digital and social arenas of marketing, running the Filtrexx Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. She also serves as writer and editor of press releases, project profiles and most recently, the Filtrexx blog. Teele attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and a Master of Science in corporate communication. Teele has worked in marketing roles for various companies around the Twin Cities before landing at Filtrexx in July, 2017.


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22 Oct 2018, 08:45

As a risk management specialist, I was surprised to see recent environmental violation citations charged by two state Departments of Environmental Protection in the news. A homebuilder in California and a pipeline in Virginia both violated two critical risk categories – A) Regulatory Compliance Risk and B) Reputation Risk. Some may wonder how or why these events happened.

A properly functioning enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) process, if followed correctly, should have prevented both of these losses. The ERM program for either company would have identified the violations that occurred and developed a procedure to protect the company using traditional risk management techniques.

Each company will have developed their own the risk management process steps based on their business operations. Here are the basic steps briefly outlined below for a typical risk management program.

  • Identify & define the risk: In both cases the compliance risks of being fined for violating environmental regulations were obvious based on the amount of the fines imposed.However, the damage to each company’s reputation is not so obvious but will impact each company by loss of contracts or loss of the sale of their products through potential customers reading press and blog reports of their violations.

  • Assess the risks that have been identified: Assessing the risk basically is to determine what will be the negative impact on the business’s goals and overall financial performance if a major event occurs.Assuming that the risk of environmental regulatory violation will be a major impact on the business the next step is to develop an action plan to deal with the risk.

  • Review & Control: This step is to evaluate each potential risk and determine if it is a risk that should be Assumed (self-insured), Reduced (by quality control and establishing monitoring procedures), Eliminated (quit doing) or Transferred (through insurance or contract with another firm to provide the services who will accept the responsibility that their product or service will meet or exceed environmental protection requirements).

  • Monitor & Correct: This would be used with a process that would monitor job sites to make sure they follow the company’s quality control and environmental compliance procedures. Corrections to environmental infractions would be made as needed.

Rick has over thirty years of food and agribusiness industry experience. He provides industry-specific experience with an emphasis on risk identification, assessment and solution development for strategic risks, and other high-impact financial volatility risk exposures of a global food system. Rick currently serves as president and consulting practice leader of Strategic Risk Solutions, Inc. (SRSI).


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12 Oct 2018, 05:21

Do you worry about choosing a sediment control product or practice that meets state and federal requirements? If not, you should. If you specify or install a product that doesn’t meet state regulatory guidelines and specifications, you are at risk for having to remove and replace the product on the job site (at your cost), or worse, be held liable for non-compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act and State Erosion and Sediment Control Laws, each of which can carry large fines and even the potential for jail time.

Filtrexx SiltSoxx is the only compost filter sock that meets standard specifications in all 50 states and all jurisdictional Federal Agencies. Filtrexx is the only company that regularly conducts third-party testing from a laboratory certified by the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program that utilizes state and federal agency required test methods, known as the Test Methods for the Examination of Composting and Compost (TMECC), to ensure compliance with all state and federal agency specifications.In addition, as state agencies adopt performance standards for sediment control products, Filtrexx is the only company that has conducted ASTM performance tests, performance evaluations by accredited research universities and Federal Agency laboratories, and publishes the results in publicly available peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Filtrexx follows this process to help engineers and designers minimize risk on any construction site and have the peace of mind that the products they are using are compliant with all applicable requirements and regulations – no matter where they are across North America. This process is also designed to raise the transparency, product quality, and product performance of the erosion and sediment control industry through leading by example. Care about clean water or just plain sleeping well at night? - Make sure Filtrexx products are on your job site.


Dr. Britt Faucette, Ph.D., is an Ecosystem Scientist, CPESC, and LEED AP. He earned his Ph.D. from the Odom School of Ecology at the University of Georgia where he researched soil-water-plant performances of various BMPs used in soil erosion and stormwater management applications; served as a state specialist in storm water management, organics recycling, and pollution prevention programs; and served as an adjunct professor. Britt coordinates research, design, and training services for the stormwater and organic materials management industries and serves on technical committees and boards with ASTM, GRHC, CCREF, and IECA. In 2008 he was awarded the annual USCC Clean Water Award. Britt has authored numerous peer-reviewed and popular press publications and popular press articles, two books, federal and state specifications, and has been awarded nearly $500,000 in research grants.


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5 Oct 2018, 08:25

As I write this today, I am sitting at my home office in New Bern, North Carolina. As you may recall, New Bern was front and center in the national news for the destruction from a 10’ storm surge caused by Hurricane Florence. The devastation is great. Seeing all the belongings people have piled high along the curb after feet of water destroyed their things is heartbreaking. Marinas were destroyed with countless boats sunk and others carried hundreds of feet upland. Many say, “That’s what you get!” when you live on the water. You have to understand, New Bern is about 30 miles inland on the Neuse River… not exactly on the coast.

What does this have to do with Filtrexx? It got me thinking about creating resilient structures both along the shoreline and in the flood plain. What do resilient structures look like? Most people see homes raised in the air to allow the water to rush under the house, or adding flood doors in crawl spaces to allow the water to move through without destroying the home. With shorelines, we can stop placing bulkheads along the shoreline which transfers the wave energy to unprotected areas. The surge is higher than the top of the shoreline structures that allow the wave energy to remove the soil from behind the bulkhead, causing a total collapse of the structure.

Living Shorelines have proven themselves time and time again to help absorb the wave energy, helping to reduce the energy that would normally erode the bank. Bioretention systems can help reduce stormwater volume to prevent flooding and dam failures. Compost filled SiltSoxx do not fall down. GreenLoxx wall systems help to absorb water, not repel it like hard structures.

The bottom line is real: sea levels are rising. We will see more storms and they will be more damaging, as the structures built years ago cannot stand up to these storms. Among the devastation, we have an opportunity to rebuild new structures that are more resilient than the ones destroyed.

As we begin to plan for recovery and designs are proposed, ask yourself one thing: Is this structure resilient and am I planning for tomorrow? I will certainly be keeping this question in mind, especially as I participate in the upcoming National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management in December. I’m honored to be speaking at this summit, and I look forward to learning from others as well on new ways we can build resilient shorelines.

We are lucky that Filtrexx has a full team of experts ready to help you design and implement the most suitable living shoreline solution for your specific project – please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Jeff Opel has 30 years of experience in the natural resources industry. Many of those years were served as District Manager of several Soil Conservation Districts in Maryland.As District Manager Jeff was responsible for advancing new and innovative sediment and erosion control technology used during the construction process. Jeff also administered the State of Maryland’s Living Shoreline program in several Counties in the state and participated in the development of several stream restoration projects. New advanced technologies used included the use of Flocculating agents to increase the efficiency of existing sediment control techniques. Jeff also created designs for multi chamber sediment basins incorporating bio filters to increase trapping efficiency. It was at this position that Jeff became familiar with Filtrexx which was used with great success. Since leaving the government service after 20 years Jeff ran a field office for a civil engineering firm in Delaware, as well as several landscape companies, before coming to Filtrexx. With Filtrexx Jeff has worked in business development for the mid-Atlantic, and in Technical Sales support for the Southeast region. Presently Jeff represents Filtrexx as the Southeast Regional Sales Manager and is actively developing Filtrexx initiatives related to stream restoration and living shorelines.


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28 Sep 2018, 05:26

While having brunch with some friends last week, I was excited to see that our beverages were served with biodegradable straws. We all raised our drinks to toast the café for being so environmentally responsible. Until… we all realized the drinks themselves had been served in plastic cups! OOPS! It seems that examples like this are all around us.

Whether it’s a business, industry, community or consumer, we all tend to latch on to the “hip” thing that all the cool kids are doing. In the solar industry however, we are seeing corporations not only talk the talk, but walk the walk when it comes to sustainability. In addition to leading the way with renewable and sustainable energy solutions, developers of large solar farms are using sustainable products like Filtrexx SiltSoxx during construction. Filtrexx SiltSoxx are made in the United States and contain 100% recycled organic FilterMedia. SiltSoxx are installed on the ground around the perimeter of the project with no ground disturbance or trenching required. Then, during rain events the SiltSoxx filter sediment-laden stormwater run-off and other pollutants before they leave the construction site. This protects rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and neighboring properties within the watershed. The FilterMedia within the sock is 100% bio-based and sourced both locally and regionally. This creates a huge carbon footprint reduction when compared to using geo-textile fabrics like Silt Fence, to treat sediment and stormwater on a job site.

In fact, using just 200 feet of 8” SiltSoxx on a project is equal to taking 1 car off the road!

Plus, it’s much easier to clean up when construction is complete. The SiltSoxx fabric can simply be cut, and the FilterMedia raked into the final grade by hand. Call it a “low-impact” removal – something that is critical when working next to the newly installed and expensive solar panels. Of course, Filtrexx SiltSoxx can be used on more than just solar projects. Soxx have been popping up on natural gas pipelines, powerlines, residential home construction, road projects and other earth disturbing activities around the country. I guess you could say that the cool kids are on to something hip. But something tells me that Soxx are here to stay. Just in case, be sure to ask your design engineers, project owners, general contractors, and site contractors to use SiltSoxx on their next project!


Nick has a Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University. He has been with Filtrexx for over 13 years and is now managing sales for the Northeast region. He has over 5 years of experience in SWPPP writing/review, stormwater inspections, and BMP installation. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and kayaking with his girlfriend and playing with his Boxer puppy Rudi.


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21 Sep 2018, 06:48

“The 5 Second Rule” regarding the cleanliness of fallen food, the Great Wall of China being visible from space, and shaving thickens hair - are all myths. Food is contaminated by the amount of bacteria on the floor, not how long the food stays there.The Great Wall of China is not visible to the naked eye from space (check it out for yourself on Google Earth); and put away those razors. Your hair is not going to grow in thicker. These are known as urban legends.But this is not the only place legends abound; there are plenty of myths when it comes to sediment control techniques. Let’s shed some light on common myths about sediment control.

Myth – Fiber rolls filter stormwater
No, they do not, and we can prove it. You know the story of the Three Little Pigs. What did one of the pigs use to build his house? Straw. Why, because it filters water? No. Why do many residents in developing countries still use straw on their roofs? Because it, more or less, keeps the water out. Compacted straw does not filter, but rather repels, water. The job of fiber rolls is to slow the flow by creating a miniature dam. When water velocity slows, particles settle out.

Myth – Fiber rolls rolled-out on the surface are effective
If fact or fiction was determined by popular vote, this statement would be true based on the overwhelming number of construction sites where it occurs. It is very common to find fiber rolls surrounding a site that is neither keyed-in (trenched 2-3”) nor staked down. Based on field testing, improperly installed fiber roll worsens the turbidity that is caused by turbulence of water jetting under the fiber roll.

Myth – Doubling up fiber roll and silt fence provides better protection
Sorry, false again. It mostly just wastes your money. Remember, the goal of these devices is to slow the flow, not filter. When properly installed, fiber roll or silt fence sufficiently slows the flow by itself. No significant velocity reduction is gained by doubling up the two devices.

Myth – Fiber roll and compost socks do the same thing
This is a half-truth. It is true that they both slow the flow causing sedimentation to occur. However, compost socks do something that fiber rolls do not do. They filter the water and remove sediment particles and other pollutants. These pollutants become entrained in the filter media. Compost socks are much heavier than fiber roll and become heavier as they are saturated with water and fill up with captured particles. Therefore, compost socks are “self-weighting” and will conform well to the surface without the need to key them in and stake them down. This allows compost socks to be used effectively on paved surfaces. When it is not secured, fiber roll actually will float on water.

Myth – Perimeter controls only need to be installed once and will last the duration of the project
This is the belief held by most project estimators. They typically will only include one initial installation of perimeter controls in their budgets and schedules even for multi-year projects. All BMPs need maintenance. Fiber roll, compost socks, and silt fence will all take a beating from the sun, wind, and construction activities. They will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.In addition, as site conditions change, the perimeter control strategy will also need to change. Fiber roll might have been a perfectly good sediment control measure during the grading phase, but compost socks may be more appropriate during the vertical phase.


John Teravskis is a Senior Compliance Specialist with WGR Southwest, Inc. in Lodi, California. He is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, a Qualified SWPPP Developer and a Qualified SWPPP Practitioner. John is also a Trainer of Record for California’s QSP/QSD program. John is the editor of WGR’s Monthly Dirt which is a free newsletter for those having to comply with California’s Construction General Permit.


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17 Sep 2018, 02:47

Fall weather not only brings out sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, but also rain, wind and leaves, increasing the potential for flooding along roadways.

Residents and municipal agencies can play a vital role in making sure storm drain systems perform optimally using sustainable management practices.Rainwater often carries trash, sediment, pesticides and oils that end up in our waterways. Not only do we get our drinking water from water bodies, but we also use our local waterways as a recreational tool and it is a valuable natural habitat.

One of the best ways to prevent pollutants from entering our local waterways is to remove them from streets before the elements carry them into the storm drainage system. Street sweeping is particularly important during heavy leaf drop which can result in debris blocking stormwater facilities and causing local flooding if not addressed.Residents can pick up yard waste and debris from property.Local agencies can ensure nearby storm drains are free of leaves by scheduling street sweeping appropriately and plan for full trash capture systems. It is just as important to maintain and inspect full trash capture systems to make sure they are in working order.As we are ending summer this is a good time to remind agencies to inspect, perform light maintenance if needed and re-order replacement cartridges for their StormExx systems.

StormExx Clean trash capture devices treat stormwater runoff at the street/inlet level, capturing debris such as leaves, trash and sediment before entering the storm system. StormExx Clean trash capture devices are engineered and patented for the treatment of stormwater runoff. Our catch basin inserts meet and/or exceed stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and best available technology. These units are certified and included in the Capture System List of Trash Treatment Control Devices by the California State Water Resources Control Board. A combination of proper street cleaning, resident awareness and maintenance of StormExx systems will ensure cleaner storm drainage systems and a reduction of pollutants in nearby water bodies.

Live in California and want to know more about stormwater management? Take a look at our Storm Water Awareness Week workshops that we’ll be hosting throughout California during the week.


Evangelina Paoluccio P.E., QSD/P is the Engineering Manager at Inventive Resources, Inc. She has over fourteen years of design experience in drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems and is a registered Civil Engineer in California.


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