Compost-Based Bioretention Systems Help Dry Up Stormwater Issues

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 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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