Performance Assessment of a Rain Garden for Capturing Suspended Sediments and Phosphorus

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Abstract

With the implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) national pollution discharge elimination systems (NPDES) Phase I and II programs, much interest has developed in the area of water quality treatment of stormwater runoff. Of primary water quality concern are sediment and nutrients such as phosphorus (P). Dirt, sand, and other solid particles are commonly quantified by measuring the total suspended solids (TSS) of a water sample. TSS can severely and negatively impact an aquatic environment. The solids increase turbidity, inhibit plant growth and diversity, affect river biota, and reduce the number of aquatic species (Shammaa et al., 2002). Excess nutrients such as phosphorus can initiate large algae blooms that generate negative aesthetic and eutrophic conditions in receiving lakes and rivers. In inland water bodies, phosphorus is typically the limiting nutrient (Schindler, 1977) and can be contributed to storm water from various sources such as fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings, etc. (U.S. EPA., 1999). Total suspended solids and phosphorus are primary concerns of most stormwater management plans, and little is known about the cost effectiveness of available stormwater treatment options. While some have studied the cost-effectiveness of available stormwater treatment practices (e.g., Weiss et al., 2007), many municipal and state agencies are now required to meet certain pollutant removal criteria based on the USEPA requirements. To meet these requirements, development or redevelopment of land must include stormwater treatment practices to achieve these pollutant removal criteria. Some stormwater treatment practices were installed at 6400 West 105th street in Bloomington, MN to protect downstream water resources by reducing stormwater runoff volume and improving runoff water quality. This project measured the performance of one such practice, a rain garden, to determine the reduction of stormwater runoff volume and the
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Aug 2011

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