Balfour Beatty Construction, Bio Clean Combine Resources
To Provide Cost-Effective School Solution

Initially established in the 1930’s and consisting of one classroom on five acres of Old Solana property, the Solana Beach School District now consists of six elementary schools spread over 18 square miles of San Diego’s North County. Since its one-room school house days, the school district has expanded to boast 186 classrooms located on a total of 40 acres. The recently named Solana Ranch Elementary School is the most ambitious addition and projected to open for the 2014 school year. The new school will add 11.8 acres, which consists of multiple educational and administrative buildings, parking lots, drop off area, playgrounds, and sports fields.

The site’s storm water infrastructure is designed with two new drainage basins that enter an existing desilting basin that feeds a public storm drain system in the Pacific Highlands Ranch Parkway. The system then flows north and enters the Gonzales Canyon Creek, which drains into the San Dieguito River, the San Dieguito Lagoon and ultimately the Pacific Ocean.

The Challenge
The management of wet weather flows will be a vital part of the new site’s effects on the surrounding water bodies and beaches. The challenge was to address anticipated environmental impacts and adhere to the regulations set forth by The Clean Water Act, with a solution of proven performance and cost effectiveness.

Given the “generally anticipated pollutants” generated from commercial, parking lots, and landscaped areas, an efficient hydrodynamic separator would be an essential part of maximizing funds while decreasing and controlling a host of pollutants. The generally anticipated pollutants include: heavy metals, organic compounds, trash, debris, nutrients, oxygen-demanding substances, oils & grease, bacteria, and pesticides.

The Solution
With student, community and environmental interests in mind, the Solana Beach School District and Balfour Beatty Construction Company have successfully focused on innovative and cost efficient infrastructure design elements that “will carry it into the future” (Facilities Department, Solana Beach School District. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from

Bio Clean Environmental Services, Inc, Oceanside,. jumped at the opportunity to contribute and integrate its hydrodynamic separator, the Nutrient Separating Baffle Box (NSBB). “The NSBB is known to provide superior results and cost savings. With over 100 installations in Southern California, the NSBB is a highly recognized storm water treatment system that utilizes a patented screening technology, enhanced three chamber separation, and inline installation. The NSBB has many additional advantages that addressed the Solana Beach School District’s budget constraints and environmental standards,” a Bio Clean spokesperson said.

Installation of the NSBB’s two stage design minimizes excavation and land preparation. In addition, the NSBB leads its competition in pricing, saving cities and developers up to 8.5% when compared to alternative product pricing. The system’s inline design eliminates the need for diversion structures, creating more cost savings.

The NSBB’s triple compartment scour-free design and screening system captures sediment and suspends trash and debris in a dry state. Dry state storage greatly minimizes nutrient leaching, bacteria growth, and odors leading to improved water quality for the surrounding water bodies. Long term maintenance of a stormwater BMP will eventually outweigh the initial cost. Storing waste solids in a dry state suspended in the basket minimizes maintenance costs by eliminating the need to remove thousands of gallons of water during the cleaning process.

The Result
Studies and historical performance data shows that a Nutrient Separating Baffle Box treating wet weather flows will remove 86.9% of the total suspended solids, 47% of bacteria, and 99% of oils and grease. The NSBB continues to be the preferred and recommended solution that meets city, state, and federal agency regulations and the aspirations of the environmentally conscious community. Bio Clean’s Lead Engineer, Zach Kent is confident “the Solana Ranch Elementary School will be another model site contributing to the betterment of San Diego County’s water bodies, wildlife, sea life and beaches – for years to come.”