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Purifying stormwater runoff with glass

Can glass purify stormwater runoff? According to an NSF-funded study, it can. Rain garden soils that include tiny amounts of BioMix-Osorb®, a grain of glass with trillions of nanoscale pores, are two to nine times more effective in purifying parking lot and stormwater runoffs. These soils capture and destroy toxic pollutants from vehicle fluids, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers, rendering them harmless.

Because BioMix-Osorb neutralizes stormwater runoff before it enters ground or surface water reservoirs, it can improve soil, aquatic, plant and human health. Healthy soil yields more robust plants, fosters microbial and insect diversity, holds water and nutrients, and prevents carbon from leaching into the atmosphere.

BioMix-Osorb, specifically formulated for the NSF study by ABS Materials in Wooster, Ohio, swells as it captures contaminants. It is blended for balanced removal of oils, biocides, household chemicals, drugs and volatile organic compounds common to stormwater runoff and impacted urban soils.

Another ABS product, Osorb®, has been used to clean up superfund sites (areas that contain hazardous waste), brownfields and industrial waters in many communities nationwide. Rain gardens containing Osorb can protect rural water supplies by removing pesticides from agrorunoff, eliminate organic solids from sewer overflows to protect water near older cities, and prevent harmful pollutants from running off oil and gas drill pads and pipelines during rainstorms. Osorb is also a useful tool for green infrastructure in urban areas under a variety of conditions.


  • raingardens enhanced with osorb material remove toxins from stormwater
Raingardens enhanced with BioMix Osorb remove toxins from stormwater.
©2012 ABS Materials, Inc.

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