How to clear a clogged catch basin with a Vac Truck

If you have a catch basin (drain) on your property; you might want to go take a look at it. Simply walk over to the catch basin and look down between the grates. If you see sediment, sludge, or other things lurking near the grates then it may be impacted and in need of clearing. (Contact DGC Environmental to clear your impacted catch basin) Take a look at our client’s catch basin which was impacted by over 80% sediment and grease.

impacted catch basin
Catch basin located in Port Charlotte, FL. Is impacted with over 80% sediment and grease.
bmps around impacted catch basin
B.M.P’s – cones properly placed for work to be performed at impacted catch basin. Located in Port Charlotte, FL.
vac truck clearing of impacted catch basin
We are vacuuming out sediment and grease from catch basin that is over 80% full, via Vac-Truck. After the sediment and grease have been removed we will pressure wash area that has been impacted from the catch basin.
pressure washing area around impacted catch basin to remove grease from ground.
Pressure washing impacted area of catch basin which was over 80% full of sediment and grease. We are using vac truck to vac up the water from pressure washer, so we can properly dispose of off-site. In Port Charlotte, FL.

Sediment Pond Installation

The pond was used as a sediment pond during construction of the property and once construction was completed, the pond was never scraped out and built to the plan specs.

We ended up removing 380 yards of sediment and then brought in new fill to get the pond back to the correct elevation. There should have been an infiltration trench installed in the pond but it was never installed. This pond is considered a water quality pond due to its size and then drains offsite into another detention pond. We had engineers redesign the infiltration trench since the required depth could not be met and have positive flow.

Once designs were approved for the design change, we dug out the trench, installed our geotextile and set the drain line.

We then backfilled over the pipe with #57 stone and formed a trench down the middle.

Next, we installed the riprap at the inflow structure. Then, we seeded the disturbed areas and covered with coconut fiber. Finally, we installed a silt fence around the rock bed until complete stabilization is achieved.


Turf Grow Regulator Testing

We are testing Turf Grow Regulator applications for one of our “Big Box Retail” customers. The testing involved plots where turf grow regulator was applied and control regions or “untreated.” We compiled the results and found efficacy at different rates. The point of this project is to slow the growth of turf and save the customer mowing costs. Some of the areas saw 50% slower grass growth!

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Stormwater System Repair

Sediment removal is complete. The site has been surveyed. Now, we discovered that the infiltration trench never installed. And, the pond was graded to the wrong elevation. We are bringing in new fill and using a laser to correctly grade the #pond. We have added additional #BMPs to ensure we do not have any #sediment release and our #turbidity is within compliance. Once the engineers have come up with an approved revision to the trench and low flow orifice, we will be on our way to completing this project. Stormwater systems are at the core of what we do here at DGC. Reach out to us with any questions or concerns you might have with your #stormwater #systems

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I Wonder – How does a retention pond help the environment?

This retention pond report was created by the daughter of one of our staff. We just love how she engaged with her father and leveraged his subject matter expertise.

I Wonder

For my I wonder I decided to do something that has to do with civil engineering. My I wonder goes under the environmental section. The project I did was “how does a retention pond help the environment.” With this project I had my dad help me do a little of things with it because I didn’t know how to. I decided to do this project because it has to do with the environment and I think everyone should know about the environment. Many people often get retention and detention ponds confused. Retention ponds are bodies of water in commercial and residential developments that collect and store stormwater runoff. Detention ponds are dry ponds. Retention ponds are also known as wet ponds. Retention ponds improve water quality and control water quantity. Retention ponds reduce pollution and prevent downstream flooding. For my I wonder I had limited products. I had to work with 2 foam blocks,1 water bottle,5 straws,1 ½ sticks of hot glue, a little bit of grey paint and I had to build the pond and do anything else with this project in under 8 days.

For my I wonder I had to do a little bit of research. The research I had to do was to find out “how retention ponds work, what retentions ponds are, how retention ponds help the environment, and how retention ponds are built. In order for me to find out all of this information, I need to look for any environment page that has to do with retention ponds. The best page I found that had to do with stormwater or retention ponds was This page gave me all of the information I needed to find.

I had a few options I had to choose from other than the one I picked out. These options were: build a wind-powered car, make elephant toothpaste, build a retention pond, and building an ancient irrigation method. I had more options, but I decided that the other options weren’t as cool as the ones the ones I listed above. I also had a few duplicates, so I decided to go ahead and mark those out. My options that I chose was the retention pond because I thought it was best and harder option.

This is the part that it the hardest it’s also the fun part. The building processes. In the building process I have to build the retention pond with the limited supplies that I had. Those supplies are listed in one of the above paragraphs. The first step I had to do was hot glue the two foam blocks together to make one big block. I had to do this because one foam block wasn’t big enough to make the retention pond out of. The second step I had to do was start carving out the design of the pond in the one big blocks. After that I put a straw in the block as an inflow source so that the rainwater will go into the system. When I put that straw in I cut a plastic bottle to where I made a funnel, so the water can go into the straw better. When I got that done I put another straw at the other end, so part of straw was in the inside and the other part was on the outside, so it became an outfall. I made sure that the part of the straw was in the inside was up more so that the water had to rise in order for it to reach the part of the straw that was up in order for it to come out. When I finished doing that process I cut more plastic out to make a box like shape to put above the straw that was in the inside of the pond to make a cover. When I finished doing that I put grey paint on the box liked shape to make it look like it was a concrete box. Then I got rocks from outside to put under the inflow straw to make it were all the dirt fell in the rocks the rocks also make it to where the water slows down, so the water pressure doesn’t start to dig a hole in the dirt in front of the inflow straw. With the rocks where they are they help the water become a little cleaner. Finally, I got some small trees to put around the edge of the pond just to give it a little bit of detail to make it look more realistic.

This is the fun part! This part is the testing part. In this part I have to test out whether or not my project works. In order for me to test my project I have to put water in the inflow straw for it to go into the pond and rise up to go out the outfall straw. The water went into the inflow straw perfectly, but the water never started to seep out of the bottom of the pond like it was supposed to. In order for me to fix that problem I had to get a thick needle and start poking the bottom of the pond to make the water come out easier and faster. When the water got to high the outfall straw did its job. It made the water an easy access out of the pond. We had no problems with either the inflow or outflow straws.

This is more of the boring step this is the communication step. In this step I talk with someone about my project like what was wrong with it and what was right with it. So, with that being said I am going to start going with it. My project had a few bad things that we had to go back and fix. One of those things was that one of the important straws kept coming out. We had hot glued it in, but it ended up coming up again, so we just made it fit in a very small spot. This small spot became a very tight spot for it to go in. Then we got a lot of hot glue and put it on the straw so that not only was it a hard spot for it to come out of, but it was also a hot glued in. With that being said we also had a few good things happen. One of those good things happen was that the rocks we put it in did its job. They made the water slow down before hitting the dirt that was in the pond. Another good thing was that the outfall straw was high enough above the dirt to were the water actually had to rise up before some of it could come out. I will have to say there could be a few things that could make it better. One of those things would be if the foam block I used was one big block and not two small ones hot glued together. Basically, what I am saying is that my project is not perfect, and I didn’t think it would be perfect especially since it was my very first time making a retention pond.

If I had to redesign my project I would make it a little bigger because the one I made was a little small. I would also try to find a different type of foam block. The foam block I used was a little bit thicker than I thought it would be it also sheds little green flack things everywhere if it is touched.

removing debris from concrete flume

Sediment removal from concrete flumes

We removed approximately 5 tons of sediment from two concrete flumes and disposed of the material at an off-site location. Once the stormwater structures were cleared, we placed bed sod on all the impacted areas.

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When stormwater structures become impacted they stop functioning which leads to flooding even with modest amounts of rain. Contact Us for a Free Stormwater Evaluation today!

sinkhole repair in Florida

How to repair a sinkhole in Florida (with photos)

Concrete block mats were removed, and then the sink hole was over excavated and compacted. Geotextile liner was installed and coarse aggregate was used on the bottom and compacted. We installed more liner to cover the aggregate and used DOT grade fill which was compacted in 6-inch lifts, Once optimal grade was meet, concrete block mats were then reset and sod was laid around all edges of the work area. Follow us on Instagram and see more projects showcasing our Best Management Practices.

removing concrete blocks for sink hole repair
Removing concrete block mats as part of sink hole repair
removing concrete block mat in Florida
Concrete block mat removal to expose sink hole as part of the repair process
sink hole repair in Florida
Exposing the sinkhole by removing concrete mats
sinkhole repair in florida compacting fill and geotextile liner installation
Compacting the sinkhole prior to geotextile liner installation
Using DOT grade fill to repair sinkhole.
Using DOT grade fill to repair sinkhole
geotextile liner used to repair sinkhole
Geotextile liner used to repair sinkhole
after sinkhole repair in Florida
Complete: Sinkhole has been repaired using best practices and a lot of hard work.
Detention pond percolating as part of stormwater system

How to fix a detention pond – A stormwater asset that should empty itself

There are many types of stormwater assets and even more methods for maintaining and repairing them.  A Detention Pond is our main focus in this blog post and we will discuss how to remediate a detention pond that is not functioning properly.  During and after a storm event, a detention pond collects stormwater that is conveyed to it from somewhere else  (usually an impermeable surface close-by).  Generally, the water that collects is supposed to drain - or percolate - back into the aquifer within a 72 hour time period.  An easy way to remember the difference between a detention pond and a retention pond is after school detention ended and you were let go, whereas retention is a more long term scenario, holding water permanently.

detention pond in need of repair
This is a detention pond that is not percolating and is a strong candidate for a notice of violation (NOV)

There are a number of reasons why the stormwater in a detention pond might not percolate properly, including improper design and construction, incorrect fill media, and sedimentation - a build up of sediment transported by stormwater.  Rectifying all of these issues is very important for the simple fact of safety and flood control.  In addition, most regulatory agencies have compliance standards and consistently look for these non-compliant systems to issue Notice of Violations - NOVs.  Ensuring your detention pond functions properly will save you money on maintenance and maintaining compliance.

high water mark from detention pond clog

Our case study is an excellent representation of a non-percolating detention pond that totals approximately 4,000 square feet and includes a concrete retention wall.  The pond did not drain within the allotted 72hr period, at times became an eyesore due to algal blooms and unwanted vegetation was difficult to maintain for the contractor as they could not mow sod under water.  On top of all that, this site was out of compliance and an NOV could have been right around the corner, literally - there is a regional field office for the local water management district less than two miles away from this location.

The processes involved in a project of this scope extend way beyond what one might think and various specialists are involved throughout the entire project.  Geotechnical experts are occasionally consulted to provide geological surveys and soil analysis.  Engineers and their assessments are consistently relied upon ranging from as-built drawings to any modifications that may need to occur.  In the event of a modification to originally designed systems, additional permitting is ALWAYS required and opens the door for regulatory agencies and their involvement.  Proper equipment and experienced operators are vital to the success of a project of this nature.   Fences and gates are also a common piece of the puzzle that need to be handled accordingly. Unforeseen obstacles such as electric conduit or irrigation systems are always a concern; while ensuring proper trees and sod/seed are specified.  Seed is usually preferred to sod due to the sedimentation that naturally collects in the sod at the sod farms.

detention pond repair by environnemental services company

Once the geotechnical items are handled, excavation can begin.  The equipment operators will have been instructed on exactly how much earthwork needs to be done to satisfy the geo-parameters.  A specific, predetermined depth is achieved and the foundation is scarified.  Again, pre-determined choice of fill is brought in and distributed evenly across the area that has been excavated, careful not to impact the newly laid fill material.  Trees are planted, grass seed is distributed and we wait for a rain event to see our handiwork in action!!

detention pond repair in Florida

In conclusion, it is important to know what kind of stormwater assets you have and how best to maintain them. Detention ponds are meant to percolate back into the earth over a short period of time, and when that process is stagnated the pond needs to be repaired. There are many variables that can comprise the process and a proper plan of action is fundamental in a successful project. In the event that it needs remediating, having knowledgeable, experienced contractors is a very important aspect of the process. DGC Environmental is that knowledgeable, experienced contractor.

Let’s Work Together!

DGC Environmental is the solution to your stormwater problem.