MS4 Illicit Discharge Detection Investigation Using Thermal Imaging UAVs

Walden is working to assist MS4 communities to improve storm water quality by using thermal imaging from drones to efficiently identify sources of potential pollution. Efficiently identifying heat differentials in the soil using aerial thermal imaging technology can pinpoint illicit discharges, failing onsite wastewater treatment systems and other pollution sources, which can then be inspected and abated by local municipalities. Walden generated reports on detected discharges and other relevant environmental conditions determined by the field work, analysis and field follow-up. Walden and Harkin Aerial completed several MS4 studies to find illicit discharges using drones.

Walden was pleased to partner with Harkin Aerial in completing recent R&D projects funded by the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District to improve the waterways of Nassau County through their 2020 grant and assistance programs.

Walden joined partners including Harkin Aerial, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE), and Town and Village Officials in the Lauren Hollow watershed area to present findings and results. Walden was pleased to work with Harkin Aerial, Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee (OBCSHPC), Friends of the Bay (FOB) and CCE on this research and development to improve public health, environmental stewardship and water quality.

This innovative project used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (also known as drones) and aerial thermography in the following areas to find sources of water pollution: Cold Spring Harbor Watershed; Mill Neck Creek and Oyster Bay Harbor to efficiently identify potential illicit discharges and assess existing hydrologic and water quality data collected in the Laurel Hollow sub watershed.

Through use of advanced technology, Walden and Harkin have demonstrated that it is possible to identify these potential illicit discharges in hopes to sufficiently accomplish water quality and stormwater management for the Long Island Watersheds. Walden and Harkin have partnered together in the past with innovative strategies to implement better stormwater management and water quality for communities.

Walden retains highly experienced staff who are experts at wastewater, drinkingwater, and stormwater system analysis and design. Walden’s partnership with Harkin Aerial and Walden’s years of experience working with drone-acquired data made Walden an ideal fit for this project.


Posted on

June 30, 2021