StormChamber® Guide

Article Contents

Storm Water BMP: Understanding the Wet Pond/Retention Basin

Retention is a stormwater BMP that takes advantage of the conventional storm water basin. This collects water from the surrounding area, preventing flooding, erosion, and other types of property damage. What makes this storm water BMP unique is the ability to slowly release water from the retention area – or storm water basin – at a controlled rate. Think of this as a miniature dam system that works to prevent streams and rivers from getting overwhelmed with floodwaters and eroded.

A retention basin is a storm water BMP that takes advantage of a higher orifice, which means that it will retain a permanent pool of water throughout the year. One of the benefits of retention basins over detention basins is the treatment that can be done to water. Using retention basins for stormwater BMP provides the opportunity to reduce pollutants in the water that could damage surrounding streams and areas.

Light maintenance is required to ensure that this storm water BMP works properly. For instance, it’s crucial to ensure that the orifice isn’t blocked or clogged with debris, as this could hinder water flow out of the basin.

However, while similar to detention, it’s important to note that retention basins are a storm water BMP that result in a permanent pool of water. Don’t worry – this isn’t like a random body of floodwater. Think of it as a man-made pond. Detention basins result in the waters eventually being empty and dried in-between each storm. An orifice is used to determine the water level, and water will drain out in a detention system so that it can refill the next time a line of thunderstorms come in.

Storage and Detention Leads as Stormwater BMPs

Underground stormwater detention systems that allow detention are considered one of the most effective stormwater BMP systems available to control the flow of stormwater. Though the systems can be found beneath streets, parks, and parking lots, these stormwater BMPs can be used anywhere in residential and commercial areas alike. When it comes to stormwater BMPs, there are two considerations you want to keep in mind:

  • Cost efficiency, as the cost of managing stormwater and the installation of the BMPs themselves can become overwhelming.
  • Environmental-friendliness, as the system should maintain the highest pollutant removal rate to ensure safety for the local and regional ecology.

StormChamber by HydroLogic Solutions offers stormwater BMPs that combine both of these incredible elements into a single system. One of the most effective uses of StormChamber is utilizing it as a tool against localized flooding. By collecting excess water in a basin and regulating its release into nearby stream systems, you can ensure that downstream areas are safe from unnecessary flooding or erosion. When it comes to using a retention basin, the two options available are retention and detention.

With a detention basin, the orifice level is kept low at the bottom of the basin. This ensures that the area is emptied and dried before the next storm system comes through the area. This is also why it’s referred to as a dry basin. This stormwater BMP is effective and important for slowing floodwater runoff.

StormChamber was designed by engineers, ecologists, and biologists to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. To ensure that the stormwater BMPs work at the highest removal rate possible, StormChamber incorporates an open bottom, arch-shaped, HDPE infiltration chamber that allows it to work in both permeable and non-permeable soils. These stormwater BMPs boast the ability to manage detention, conveyance, and retention on all subsurface.

Used in congruence with SedimenTrap, StormChamber ensures that the water regulated is cleansed of floodwater pollutants that could potentially harm the local ecology as it’s pumped back into surrounding streams, wetlands, and lakes.

The Benefits of Using StormChamber For Detention Include:

  • Cost efficiency, effectiveness, and ease of installation
  • The latest technology and equipment available in stormwater BMPs that achieve low impact development, LEED, and zero discharge standards
  • Ability to replenish groundwater supplies
  • Can be used with SedimenTrap to achieve higher pollutant removal rates
  • And much more!


Although most people associate plastic chamber systems with storm water storage, they can also be effectively used for storm water conveyance. Due to the large size of the StormChamber, a single row can provide a conveyance capacity approximately equivalent to 48 inch diameter pipe.

Benefits over pipe for conveyance:

  • Significantly lower material and installation cost.
  • Significantly quicker and easier to install.
  • Significantly better water quality enhancement.
  • Recharges ground water supplies.
  • Helps maintain base flow to streams, wetlands, and other water bodies.
  • Provides peak flow attenuation.
  • Reduces pond storage requirements.
  • Significantly reduces algal blooms and pond maintenance.

The StormChamber System as a Water Quality Device

When investing in stormwater systems, it’s important to not only consider the requirements for storage, but also consider the standards for water quality BMP and exceed them. When combined with SedimenTrap, our StormChamber system can match or exceed the expectations for sediment maintenance at such efficiency.

The SedimenTrap is designed to fit perfectly into the first and last row receiving water in the StormChamber. While the first trap captures most of the sediments and other pollutants, some will invariably escape, which is why the second SedimenTrap is placed in the final row. The use of a filtration system on both ends of the StormChamber is what makes it one of the most unique yet effective storm water systems in the marketplace today. Anything that passes through the first filter will quickly be caught and trapped in the second one.

The nation’s leading experts in ecology, biology, and land development combined minds to create stormwater systems that truly break down pollutants to natural and non-toxic byproducts so that it can be safely reused and redistributed. In fact, the EPA Technology Fact sheet even details the process of how technologically advanced filtration systems can break down pollutants into safe micro-organisms in the pollution abatement process. To learn more about this, be sure to read the EPA’s A Citizen’s Guide to Monitored Natural Attenuation. Further reports also show that infiltration devices maintain the highest levels of cleanliness, pollutant extraction, and quality enhancement. To see exactly how this works, review the Technical Memorandum as presented by the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center.

The first row in the StormChamber system, which includes the first of two SedimenTraps, can also be considered as a pre-treatment device. Before any sediment can pass through, it would have to back-up and somehow invert into the connecting pipe of the adjacent row. Of course, this is highly unlikely under any circumstances, even under the heaviest of stormwater conditions.

Each row of the StormChamber system plays an incredibly important role, successively functioning as a filtering device that suspends solids and other harmful pollutants from exiting the system and harming local or regional ecology. The StormChamber system is highly effective at keeping oils and debris from reentering the local environment. To see exactly how StormChamber works, be sure to view our animated video.

If you’re interested in learning more about StormChambers and water quality, then read this special report by North Carolina State University.

To see how this works, see our animated video.

Click Here For more information on how StormChambers help with water quality, see the article and report on the installation at Kure Beach, NC.

Residential Reuse And Water Use Restrictions

Supplies of fresh water are shrinking not only in the USA, but throughout the globe, resulting in steeper prices for water rates. StormChamber systems are easy to modify for water reuse by lining the trench with an impervious plastic sheet liner and a pump.

Benefits of Using The StormChamber System For Water Reuse Include:

  • Cost efficiency. A low-cost alternative to traditionally utilized reuse systems.
  • Out of sight systems traditionally used for environment storage volumes require unsightly large storage tanks adjacent to the home.
  • Large storage capacity. One installed StormChamber will hold approximately 1,200 gallons. About 10 inches of rain over spring and summer on an average 1,360 sf roof would yield 8,160 gallons of rainwater. A typical rain barrels holds 55 gallons. That would require 148 rain barrels versus 7 StormChambers.

Rain Water Reuse and Conservation System

A StormChamber water reuse system allows you to collect water through the roof, which is then transported through the gutters and downspouts to a filtering system underground. Water will be stored for future use. Benefits of selecting StormChamber to fulfill your stormwater management BMP needs include easy installation, cost efficiency, and fresh water conservation.

Commercial Reuse

A StormChamber system with a pond liner protected with filter fabric and a pump provides a highly effective stormwater/reuse system for commercial applications. With the stacking ability of up to four layers of our SC-34 chambers, or a single layer of our larger SC-44, very large volumes can be accommodated within a relatively small footprint. This results in significant savings over the typical use of concrete vaults for those types of volumes.

  • Water conservation. Not only is this considered a great option for stormwater best management practices, but it can also save money in landscape irrigation and maintenance.
  • Stormwater cleansing. Because the water will eventually be redistributed across a landscape, the stormwater goes through a second, more natural filter that improves the hydrologic balance and encourages a natural cleansing process.

StormChamber is designed to require little to no maintenance, ensuring that you can spend the focus of your time running your business instead of worrying about irrigation pumps, filtration systems, and other components. Managing urban stormwater helps create a more sustainable world that works within a natural-based system that benefits vegetation and soil mechanisms.

At HydroLogic Solutions, our engineers, biologists, and ecologists have worked to ensure that the most advanced and economical storm water management practices are fused into StormChamber. Commercial organizations can harvest, store, and redistribute urban rainwater through the most advanced stormwater system available.

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