How to Manage Pests
When selecting and installing stormwater treatment devices, agencies consider factors such as the projected runoff for a given area, the available or allocated space, cost, and local pollutants of concern. Structural designs can range from simple to elaborate and appear to be limited only by funding and the imagination of engineers. The most common processes used for pollution management in treatment BMPs that may be used singly or in combination include trash capture, settling and sedimentation, media filtration, and infiltration. Typical urban and suburban treatment devices include vegetated channels (swales), dry detention basins, wet retention ponds or constructed wetlands, media filtration devices, and belowground sumps, vaults, and basins. Of concern to public health officials is that an alarming number of these devices hold nutrient-rich stagnant water that provides breeding places for mosquitoes.
Location can greatly affect whether a treatment BMP becomes a significant source of mosquitoes. For example, identical structures in different locations may vary widely in potential mosquito production due to the number of mosquitoes present in the area, the species composition, and the duration of breeding activity. Elements that may influence the mosquito breeding potential in any given location may include a variety of environmental, construction, and local factors operating singly or in combination (table 1).
Because of their propensity to breed mosquitoes all treatment BMPs, regardless of their design, should be monitored periodically by vector control professionals with knowledge of the biology and ecology of local mosquito species. A more proactive approach would be to include vector control professionals in preconstruction planning. This type of collaborative effort could help prevent costly future retrofits or replacements necessary to meet mosquito management goals.
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