Fashion Island ‘StormFilter’ Stops Pollution in its Tracks

It’s big. It’s green. And it absolutely cannot stand stormwater pollutants.

Meet the “Stormwater Management StormFilter®,” an environmentally-friendly, state-of-the-art filtration system that uses natural minerals and volcanic ash to capture and render harmless stormwater pollutants that otherwise might end up in local ocean waters.

As part of the Irvine Company’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, a StormFilter was installed several days ago week beneath the parking lot outside Macy’s at Fashion Island®. The large StormFilter will trap and treat stormwater runoff at a significant portion of Fashion Island, preventing pollutants from reaching the ocean.

The company committed to installing a high-tech stormwater-pollutant removal system at the center as part of long-term efforts to further protect and enhance local water quality. Other innovative methods for capturing and treating stormwater, such as bio-retention areas, will be put in place in the future elsewhere at Fashion Island. Orange County Coastkeeper, a non-profit environmental organization, served as a technical advisor to the Irvine Company on the StormFilter project.

Adding to the StormFilter’s environmental pedigree is its actual physical composition. The filter’s exterior structure is composed of “green” concrete. Unlike regular concrete, green concrete is made from recycled materials such as fly ash and silica fume. Green concrete produces far less carbon dioxide (CO2) than regular concrete during the manufacturing process and throughout its life cycle. (In total, regular cement production is responsible for about 7 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions.)

The Fashion Island StormFilter is one of the first green-concrete vault filters of its kind in use in Southern California.