Stormwater Treatment by Two Retrofit Infiltration Practices
DeBusk, Kathy Marie
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Increases in impervious surfaces associated with urbanization change stream hydrology by increasing peak flow rates, storm-flow volumes and flood frequency, and degrade water quality through increases in sediment, nutrient, and bacteria concentrations. In response to water quality and quantity issues within the Stroubles Creek watershed, the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech designed and constructed two innovative stormwater best management practices (BMPs). The goal of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a bioretention cell and a CU-Structural Soilâ ¢ infiltration trench. BMP construction was completed in July 2007. Twenty-nine precipitation events were monitored over a period of five months between October 2007 and March 2008. For each storm, inflow and outflow composite samples were collected for each BMP and analyzed for suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, fecal coliform bacteria and E-coli bacteria. The inflow and outflow concentrations and loads, as well as total inflow and outflow volumes and peak flow rates, were then compared to evaluate how well each BMP reduces stormwater flows, decrease peak runoff rates and improves water quality of stormwater runoff. Results for the bioretention cell indicate average reductions in stormwater quantity, sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and fecal coliform bacteria that exceeded 99% by mass. The CU-Structural Soilâ ¢ infiltration trench produced reductions in stormwater quantity, total phosphorus and sediment that averaged 60%, 45% and 51%, respectively. Preliminary bacteria results indicated that both BMPs served as sources of E-coli, and the infiltration trench served as a source of fecal coliform bacteria.
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