Title:
Pollutant Control for Inlet Protection
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pollutant control apparatus for mounting in a grate frame used for protecting a water inlet comprising a basin frame and a flexible basin. The basin frame is adapted for disposition upon the grate frame. The flexible basin affixed to the basin frame is made of an open mesh material. In a curb and gutter water inlet, the pollutant control apparatus can optionally further comprise a fabric filter and an inset. The fabric filter is disposed substantially within the flexible basin frame for collecting sediment. The inset is disposed adjacent to the basin frame for securing the fabric filter against the basin frame. The present invention can also be used in a manhole water inlet. In another embodiment of the invention where the water inlet further comprises a shaft disposed under the grate frame, the basin frame further comprises an extension member affixed to the basin frame. The extension member is adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft.



Inventors:
Hanson, Mark A. (Apple Valley, MN, US)
Smith, Jeffrey T. (Elko, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/753061
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
05/24/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
210/170.03, 404/5, 210/164
International Classes:
E03F5/06; E03F5/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020079261Membrane element filtration unitJune, 2002Thomassen
20090065431IN-LINE SEPARATORMarch, 2009Bakke et al.
20090272687Method of Deep Sewage Treatment without Sludge Discharge and Device ThereforNovember, 2009Chiang
20060081529Filtering screenApril, 2006Robertson
20080006567Advanced Purification System Utilizing Closed Water Area by Hollow Water Area (Utsuro)January, 2008Akai
20100006513METHOD, DEVICE AND SYSTEM FOR WATER TREATMENTJanuary, 2010Fishler et al.
20080110813SUMP HOUSINGMay, 2008Munson
20100089809INTEGRATED UTILITY SYSTEMApril, 2010Bridle et al.
20080296210FLUID TREATMENT DEVICESDecember, 2008Bittner
20070187302Dewatering of aqueous magnetite concentratesAugust, 2007Parra Huerta
20090211988Azeotrope-Like Composition of 2-Chloro-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoropropane (HCFC-244bb) and Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)August, 2009Pham et al.



Primary Examiner:
UPTON, CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRAMM LAW (Edina, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A process for making a pollutant control apparatus for mounting in a grate frame used for protecting a water inlet, comprising the steps of: providing a basin frame adapted for disposition upon said grate frame; and providing a flexible basin affixed to said basin frame, said flexible basin having an open mesh material.

2. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 1, wherein said water inlet is a curb and gutter water inlet.

3. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 2, further comprising the steps of: providing a fabric filter disposed substantially within said flexible basin frame for collecting sediment; and providing an inset disposed adjacent to said basin frame for securing said fabric filter against said basin frame.

4. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 1, wherein said water inlet is a manhole water inlet.

5. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 1, wherein said water inlet further comprises a shaft disposed under said grate frame; and said step of providing a basin frame further comprises the step of providing an extension member affixed to said basin frame, said extension member being adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft.

6. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 5, wherein said water inlet is a curb and gutter water inlet.

7. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus of claim 5, wherein said water inlet is a manhole water inlet.

8. A pollutant control apparatus for mounting in a grate frame used for protecting a water inlet, comprising: a basin frame adapted for disposition upon said grate frame; and a flexible basin affixed to said basin frame, said flexible basin having an open mesh material.

9. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 8, wherein said water inlet is a curb and gutter water inlet.

10. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 9, further comprising: a fabric filter disposed substantially within said flexible basin frame for collecting sediment; and an inset disposed adjacent to said basin frame for securing said fabric filter against said basin frame.

11. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 8, wherein said water inlet is a manhole water inlet.

12. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 8, wherein said water inlet further comprises a shaft disposed under said grate frame; and said basin frame further comprises an extension member affixed to said basin frame, said extension member being adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft.

13. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 12, wherein said water inlet is a curb and gutter water inlet.

14. The pollutant control apparatus of claim 12, wherein said water inlet is a manhole water inlet.

15. A process for using a pollutant control apparatus for mounting in a grate frame used for protecting a water inlet, comprising the steps of: providing a basin frame adapted for disposition upon said grate frame; and providing a flexible basin affixed to said basin frame, said flexible basin having an open mesh material.

16. The process for using a pollutant control apparatus of claim 1, wherein said water inlet is a curb and gutter water inlet.

17. The process for using a pollutant control apparatus of claim 16, further comprising the steps of: providing a fabric filter disposed substantially within said flexible basin frame for collecting sediment; and providing an inset disposed adjacent to said basin frame for securing said fabric filter against said basin frame.

18. The process for using a pollutant control apparatus of claim 15, wherein said water inlet is a manhole water inlet.

19. The process for using a pollutant control apparatus of claim 15, wherein said water inlet further comprises a shaft disposed under said grate frame; and said step of providing a basin frame further comprises the step of providing an extension member affixed to said basin frame, said extension member being adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft.

Description:

FIELD AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to storm water inlet protection systems, and more particularly for such systems that employ a basin for collecting sediment, debris, and other floating pollutants.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Stormwater runoff can come from rain that fails to percolate into the soil and flows over land. Impervious surfaces, including sidewalks, streets and parking lots increase the volume, velocity and temperature of that runoff thereby decreasing the infiltration capacity of the land area. Stormwater runoff picks up and carries off debris, trash, and pollutants that can degrade aquatic life, wildlife, habitat and human health. Sediment is a primary stormwater pollutant from erosion at a construction site. To address that problem, Federal regulations require nearly all construction site operators engaged in clearing, grading, and excavating activities that disturb one acre or more, including smaller sites in a common plan of development or sale, to obtain coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for their stormwater discharges. Most states are authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the NPDES program and issue their own stormwater permits for construction activities. So these related rules, in combination with best management practices for pollution prevention, potential penalties associated with stormwater noncompliance and the demand for stormwater permits for construction has increased the need for pollutant control devices such as those for protecting storm drain inlets. Storm drain inlet protection is needed not only for storm drains within the active construction project, but also for storm drains outside the project area that might receive stormwater discharges from the project.

In addition to the nature of a pollutant control apparatus and its means of installation, the time, cost and effort involved with inspection and maintenance of such pollutant control devices for protecting storm drain inlets can also be significant factors. Permits may require regular and spot inspections both before predicted storms and after to ensure that controls are in good working condition at all times. Different devices require different inspection schedules and maintenance activities such as removing sediment and debris as needed from protected storm drain inlets, properly disposing of sediment into controlled areas to prevent eroded soil from returning during subsequent rain and replacing damaged parts such as a fabric filter that no longer operates effectively.

There are different types of known sediment control devices with basins for collecting sediment in a curb and gutter. For example, a bag and handles formed from an orange fabric filter can be hung below the gutter grate to collect sediment from storm water erosion runoff. Also known are larger metal or rigid plastic basins to correspond to and fit onto the frame of the gutter grate directly below the grate.

A drawback to a bag and handles formed from an orange fabric filter can occur during maintenance when the fabric handles rip off from the fabric bag while manually pulling out the heavy sediment laden fabric bag or when it is cut or overfills with sediment, breaks and dumps the pollutant into the water drainage system. In light of that problem, some permits require more frequent inspections and maintenance of those bags and mandatory cleaning as soon as the sediment fills a certain percentage of the bag. The stronger larger grate sized rigid basins can suffer from a number of other disadvantages. When these larger sediment capacity rigid basins fill and need to be cleaned out, they can become too heavy to be manually lifted and require more expensive and specialized tools, skills, and equipment such as vacuum trucks. Another disadvantage is the expense of the units, some which can cost $325 each and are vulnerable to theft at the construction site. And too often, they can't be used because they don't fit. The rigid basins are generally manufactured to a limited standard size to fit snugly through a standard sized frame for a standard sized gutter grate. Once out in the field, after transporting the standard rigid basins, removing the grate 20 and attempting installation, the installer can then encounter insufficient clearance from unique and irregular obstructions such as too shallow depth such as between the grate frame 22 to a pipe. Other times, jagged thick concrete layers installed under the roadway frame side 34 to shim up the grate frame 22 to a final road level can jut out many inches from several odd places blocking the needed clearance for the rigid basin and preventing installation.

SHORT STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems, and an object of the present invention is to provide a pollutant control apparatus that can be installed into a partially obstructed shaft of a stormwater inlet such as a manhole or curb and gutter.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a stronger means of sediment collection than a fabric filter bag while still facilitating manual removal.

In order to accomplish the above objects, the primary embodiment of the present invention provides a pollutant control apparatus for mounting in a grate frame used for protecting a water inlet comprising a basin frame and a flexible basin. The basin frame is adapted for disposition upon the grate frame. The flexible basin affixed to the basin frame is made of an open mesh material.

One type of water inlet where a preferred embodiment of the present invention is preferably used during construction in is a curb and gutter water inlet. In that environment, the pollutant control apparatus further comprises a fabric filter and an inset. The fabric filter is disposed substantially within the flexible basin frame for collecting sediment. The inset is disposed adjacent to the basin frame for securing the fabric filter against the basin frame. Another type of water inlet where a preferred embodiment of the present invention is used is in a manhole water inlet.

Still another preferred embodiment of the present invention can be preferably used after construction and attached in part to the water inlet shaft disposed under the grate frame. The basin frame further comprises an extension member affixed to the basin frame. The extension member is adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft. Typical types of the water inlets in which the invention is used are a curb and gutter water inlet or a manhole water inlet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This brief description of several views of the drawings and the detailed description of the invention refers to different views for specifying the figure numbers and reference numerals to the different parts. The following described 2 Figures are depicted within the 2 sheets of drawings.

FIG. 1 is a exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the pollutant control for inlet protection of the present invention for temporary use during construction with the curb, gutter, and roadway partially broken away;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a cross section taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 of the same preferred embodiment of the pollutant control for inlet protection with a portion of the open mesh material cut away to show more of the fabric filter.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the pollutant control for inlet protection of the present invention for permanent use after construction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure describes the invention and the manner and process of making and using it to enable any person skilled in the pertinent or most nearly connected technological area of the invention to make and use it. The specific physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention as defined by the claims.

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the pollutant control for one type of inlet protection of the present invention namely, a curb and gutter water inlet 10 for temporary use during construction with a curb 12, gutter 16, and roadway 4 partially broken away. The curb 12 defines a curb frame 14 together with the gutter 16 defining a gutter frame 18. A grate frame 22 is rigidly fixed to the gutter frame 18 for supporting a grate 20. Directly below the grate frame 22 is a water inlet shaft 2.

A pollutant control apparatus 30 is adapted for disposition upon the grate frame 22 beneath the grate 20, is used for protecting the stormwater inlet temporarily during construction, and comprises a basin frame 32 and a flexible basin 50. The basin frame 32 is generally L-shaped and in a rectangular form. Here, the basin frame 32 has two pairs of opposing sides, the longest pair of sides are a roadway frame side 34 and a curb frame side 36. In this preferred embodiment of the invention the basin frame 32 can be made, for example, of 16 gauge steel and formed to fit a wide variety of structures and dimensions such as 2×3 foot, 3×3 foot, 2×2 foot, round, and other desired shapes. As an additional option, a curb barrier 40 can be affixed to the curb frame side 36 for deflecting high rising storm water runoff onto the grate 20 into the pollutant control apparatus 30. The curb barrier 40 preferably has a rectangular shape that fits into and obstructs about the lower three quarters of the curb frame 14. The upper quarter gap in the curb frame 14 is for releasing water pressure in high water level and force conditions and optionally, the curb barrier 40 may define a plurality of barrier overflow outlets 42 for the same purpose.

The flexible basin 50 has a closed cylindrical bottom and an open rectangular top riveted from a backing plate to a vertical portion of the basin frame 32. The flexible basin 50 may be made of an open mesh material 52 having flexible and porous properties. For one example, the open mesh material 52 may be made of a generic high molecular weight, high tenacity polyester multifilament yarns which are woven in tension and finished with a PVC coating such as the trademarked material Miragrid® 8XT from the Tencate company headquartered at Egbert Gorterstraat 3, 7607 GB Almelo, NL with contact information at www.tencate.com. In this example, the flexible basin 50 may have approximate dimensions 14×20×33 inches and physical properties including a grid aperture size (machine direction) 22 mm (0.875 in), a grid aperture size (cross machine direction) 25 mm (1.0 in), and a mass per unit area 387 g/m2(11.4 oz/yd2). Mechanical properties of the flexible basin 50 in this example may include a tensile strength (at ultimate) 102.1 kN/m (7000 lbs/ft), a tensile strength (at 5% strain) 36.8 kN/m (2520 lbs/ft), and a long-term allowable design load for sand, silt and clay 55.3 kN/m (3788 lbs/ft). The flexible basin 50 collects debris and floatable trash for subsequent manual maintenance removal to protect the water quality beyond the water inlet.

Where a preferred embodiment of the present invention is used in a curb and gutter water inlet 10 environment, the pollutant control apparatus 30 for current construction may optionally further comprise a fabric filter 60 and an inset 66. The fabric filter 60 is disposed substantially within the flexible basin 32. The bottom and sides of the fabric filter 60 is also supported by the flexible basin 32. The fabric filter 60 is made of a commonly known material and used to drain water while filtering out and collecting sediment for proper disposal elsewhere. Optionally, a pair of filter handles 62 is secured to the open top of the fabric filter 60 for facilitating removal from the flexible basin 50. Another option is the top portion of the fabric filter 60 defining one or more filter overflow outlets 64 to relieve high water pressure. The inset 66 is disposed adjacent to the basin frame for securing the open top of the fabric filter 60 against the basin frame 32. Another type of water inlet where a preferred embodiment of the present invention is contemplated is in a manhole water inlet.

A process for making a pollutant control apparatus 30 for mounting in a grate frame 22 used for protecting a water inlet comprises the two steps of providing a basin frame 32 adapted for disposition upon the grate frame 22, and providing a flexible basin 50 affixed to the basin frame 32. The flexible basin 50 has an open mesh material 52. In the water inlet form of a curb and gutter water inlet 10, the process for making a pollutant control apparatus 30 further comprises the steps of providing a fabric filter 60 disposed substantially within the flexible basin 50 for collecting sediment, and providing an inset 66 disposed adjacent to the basin frame 32 for securing the fabric filter 60 against the basin frame 32. An alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention contemplates other water inlets such as a manhole water inlet.

To install and operate the pollutant control apparatus 30 in a curb and gutter water inlet 10 for use during construction, remove the grate 20. Insert the pollutant control apparatus 30 into the gutter frame 18 with the basin frame 32 resting upon the grate frame 22 and the optional curb barrier 40 for deflecting storm water runoff onto the grate 20 into the pollutant control apparatus 30 is inserted into the curb frame 14. An optional fabric filter 60 is normally used by inserting it into the flexible basin 50. The top open edge of the fabric filter 60 is fastened to the basin frame 32 with an inset 66 that helps to flatten the top edge of the fabric filter 60 and thereby reducing the amount of sediment that is prevented from entering the pollutant control apparatus 30 and so accumulates outside of the grate 20. Then replace the grate 20 over the basin frame 132 and into the gutter frame 18. During stormwater run off, the flexible basin 150 collects debris and floatable trash for subsequent removal by manually lifting the device by the basin frame 132 for easier maintenance.

FIG. 2 shows a cross section taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 of the same preferred embodiment of the pollutant control apparatus 30 for current construction to protect water inlets with a portion of the open mesh material 52 cut away to show more of the fabric filter 60. The grate 20 is depicted with a side frame 26, one of a plurality of cross bars 28 and an end frame 24. The grate frame 22 defines a receiver space 23 for accommodating the grate 20 over the basin frame 32 which is covered over by the top opening of the fabric filter 60. The grate 20 fits into the receiver space 23 with the side frame 26 of the grate 20 abutting the roadway frame side 34. The fabric bag 60 is shown to be secured to the pollutant control apparatus 30 by the open top end of the fabric bag 60 being wrapped over the basin frame 32, the inset 66, and the weight of the grate 20.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the pollutant control for inlet protection of the present invention, also a curb and gutter water inlet 10 but for permanent use after construction. This preferred embodiment of the present invention is designed to be attached in part to a water inlet shaft 2 disposed under the grate frame 18 which is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In this embodiment of the present invention, a pollutant control apparatus 130, is adapted for disposition upon the grate frame 22 beneath the grate 20, is used for protecting the stormwater inlet permanently after construction, and comprises a basin frame 132 and a flexible basin 150. The basin frame 132 is generally L-shaped, in a rectangular form, and has two pairs of opposing sides, the longest pair sides are a roadway frame side 134 and a wider curb frame side 136. However, in this preferred embodiment of the invention, the basin frame 132 further comprises an extension member 170 affixed to the basin frame 32. The extension member 170 is adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft 2. The extension member 170 extends the entire length of and is attached to the vertical portion of the curb frame side 136. Also a plurality of connection channels 172 extend distally from the extension member 170 to a portion of the water inlet shaft 2. Fasteners are extended from the extension member 170 through the connection channel 172 into the water inlet shaft 2 for securing the pollutant control apparatus 130 thereto. A base of a U-shaped member 174 is disposed upon and extends across the entire length the top of the flexible basin 50 between the water inlet shaft 2 and the curb frame side 136. The U-shaped member 174 terminates with both ends resting upon the basin frame 132.

A flexible basin 150 has a closed cylindrical bottom and an open rectangular top riveted from a backing plate to a vertical portion of the basin frame 32 on all three sides excluding the curb frame side 136. The flexible basin 150 is larger than the previous embodiment and extends beyond the curb frame side 136 to the water inlet shaft 2. The flexible basin 150 may be made of an open mesh material 152 having flexible and porous properties such as the same previous example with the open mesh material 52 made of a generic high molecular weight, high tenacity polyester multifilament yarns which are woven in tension and finished with a PVC coating such as the trademarked material Miragrid® 8XT from the Tencate company The flexible basin 150 collects debris and floatable trash for subsequent manual maintenance removal.

A process of another alternate embodiment of the invention is for permanent use after construction, where the host water inlet has a water inlet shaft 2 disposed under the grate frame 22. The process for making a pollutant control apparatus 130 for mounting in a grate frame 22 used for protecting a water inlet comprises the two steps of providing a basin frame 132 adapted for disposition upon the grate frame 22, and providing a flexible basin 150 affixed to the basin frame 132. The flexible basin 150 has an open mesh material 152 and can be used in the water inlet form of a curb and gutter water inlet 10. The step of providing a basin frame 132 further comprises the step of providing an extension member 170 affixed to the basin frame 32. The extension member 170 is adapted for attachment to the water inlet shaft 2. An alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention also contemplates other water inlets such as a manhole water inlet.

To install and operate the pollutant control apparatus 130 in a curb and gutter water inlet 10, remove the grate 20. Insert the pollutant control apparatus 130 into the gutter frame 18 with the basin frame 132 resting upon the grate frame 22. Also, fasten the extension member 170 to a portion of the water inlet shaft 2. Then replace the grate 20 over the basin frame 132 and into the gutter frame 18. Neither a curb barrier 40 for deflecting storm water runoff onto the grate 20 nor a fabric filter 60 is normally employed here. During stormwater run off, the flexible basin 150 collects debris and floatable trash for subsequent manual removal easier maintenance.

The previously described versions of the present invention have several advantages including help with maintenance of a bag with handles formed from an orange fabric filter by reducing the events of fabric handle rip off from the fabric bag while manually pulling out the heavy sediment laden fabric bag or when it overfills with sediment by deterring bag breaks that dump pollutants into the water drainage system by providing porous support from the flexible basin to the fabric filter. Other advantages of the present invention over those larger sediment capacity rigid basins that fill and need to be cleaned out with expensive and specialized tools, skills, and equipment such as vacuum trucks is that the invention eliminates the need for such items because of its much lighter weight that allows manual removal. The invention is lighter, more flexible, porous and will not rust, rot or decay from degrading elements such as salt and water. Still another advantage of the invention is its reduced expense relative to the higher expense of some existing rigid basin units that can be stolen from the construction site and surroundings. And perhaps most importantly, the invention can be more useful in more situations than some of the rigid basins manufactured to fit snugly in a typical sized gutter grate frame. The invention also helps reduce transportation time and expense with its collapsible flexible basin 50 by allowing many more units to be transported in the same truck load in the order of about one stack of 20 invention units compared to four rigid basin units. Even more, the invention fits well in both unobstructed and obstructed water inlet shafts 2 where an installer encounters insufficient rigid basin clearance from unique and irregular obstructions. The open mesh material 52 of the flexible basin 50 accommodates an otherwise too shallow depth such as between the grate frame to a pipe or a too narrow width from jagged thick concrete layers installed under the roadway frame side 34 that jut out many inches into the water inlet shaft 2 directly below the grate 20 preventing a rigid basin installation but allowing a flexible basin 50 installation.

The invention described above may be embodied in other forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The embodiments disclosed in this application are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be embraced therein.