Mandated Trash Capture Devices: Impeding Trash without Impeding Mosquito Abatement
The purpose of the presentation is to highlight the costs and public health risks that can be incurred in the absence of interagency coordination when stormwater capture or conduit devices are installed for new developments or altered to comply with new regulations. The installation of trash capture devices (TCD) into catch basins (CB) was mandated by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board (SFBRWQB) to prevent trash pollutants from entering the San Francisco Bay. CB may hold water throughout the year, and if left untreated by mosquito abatement agencies, can become intense breeding sources for mosquitoes that can transmit pathogens to humans. The audience will be invited to consider how the design of TCD can affect the missions of partnering agencies, such as those that conduct mosquito control, and approaches that encourage the engagement of integrated partnerships for enhancing stormwater management practices. Several TCD designs that complied with the stormwater management mandate were approved by SFBRWQB for installation by local municipalities. However, impacts of the TCD designs on mosquito control activities were not considered during the review and approval process. In the absence of communication and coordination with Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District (ACMAD), hundreds of TCD were installed by local municipalities which had serious design flaws that impeded mosquito control activities, thereby increasing the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission. After discovery of the installed TCD, ACMAD obtained from SFBRWQB the engineering diagrams of the approved TCD and identified designs that minimized impediments to mosquito control activities. In coordination with local stormwater quality agencies, ACMAD provided local municipalities with a simple flyer that highlighted the mission of mosquito abatement agencies to protect public health through effective mosquito control, and indicated which of the TCD designs impeded this mission. The public health risks associated with TCD that prevented mosquito control were also described at a meeting of local stormwater quality agencies that included representatives from local municipalities. After these outreach efforts, a TCD manufacturer and representatives from a city with quarter of a million residents and over 1,000 CB requiring TCD contacted ACMAD to discuss how mosquito control activities could be accommodated with the flawed TCD. In both cases modifications were made to the TCD that permitted mosquito abatement. These interactions enhanced relationships and partnerships with local governing agencies, and reinforced the importance of engaging a broad outreach network when developing or implementing stormwater management regulations.
Joseph Huston is the Field Operations Supervisor for Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District (ACMAD) and a resident of Alameda County. For 26 years at ACMAD, he has focused upon implementing environmentally-friendly mosquito control programs that protect public health. He holds a BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology. Joseph conducted his internship at the UC Berkeley Biological Control Center with Dr. Ken Hagen. He has extensive experience in Entomology, Arachnology, Paleontology and has contributed to endangered species impact studies. Joseph has provided public lectures on mosquito abatement, mosquito breeding source access, mosquito-borne illness, and mosquito predators.