America's first public beach solves stormwater sediment problem

First Defense® helps engineers capture sediment and prevent stormwater discharge at a historic Massachusetts beach.


"America’s First Public Beach", Revere Beach, Massachusetts, was undergoing an improvement project, but the northern section of the beach remained as it had for decades, and an existing stormwater drainage system was allowing untreated stormwater to discharge to the beach.


Sand blowing off the beach would clog the drains and pipe network with sand, restricting the flow capacity of the pipes.

Furthermore, since the beach is a "barrier beach", occupying only a narrow sand bar between the ocean and marsh, drainage upgrade and expansion options were limited.


Engineering firm Parsons Brinkerhoff and drainage consultants Nitsch Engineer, Inc. designed a new drainage layout to consist of 60 combined drainage inlets and stormwater treatment units to remove sand, grit, trash, oil, and debris from stormwater runoff before being discharged to a long, underground infiltration gallery.

Nitsch Engineer, Inc. and project contractor D’Alessandro Corp selected First Defense® vortex separators as the stormwater treatment devices for the project.


The First Defense® units achieved the required level of stormwater treatment in a smaller footprint and at lower cost than the other stormwater interceptors considered.

The health of the beach is no longer affected by untreated stormwater runoff from the street and parking, and routine testing for the types of bacteria that can affect the health of beachgoers has confirmed that the general health of the beach has greatly improved.

The 60 First Defense® units saved money and time, and worked well with the downstream infiltration systems to solve our problem," said Rachel Burckardt, Project Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, "I was very pleased. Installation went without a hitch. The project was successful in every aspect, and it was even nominated for Parsons Brinckerhoff’s 'Project of the Year.'



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