Making the Case for Tailored Stormwater Management
Hixon, Lee Franklin
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Protection of downstream channels and reduction in flooding can potentially be improved by evaluating alternative site stormwater management (SWM) strategies at a watershed scale and selecting the optimal strategy for a subject watershed. Tailoring a management strategy for a specific watershed may be worthwhile to minimize development costs and maximize downstream benefit. A hydrologic/hydraulic model for a watershed in Blacksburg, Virginia, is used to evaluate downstream results based on implementation of several alternative SWM strategies currently practiced within the United States. Results show none of the strategies meet the goal of maintaining the baseline goal at the watershed POI for the full range of design storms. Modification to the strategy that performs best at the watershed scale did meet the watershed goal for all design storms except the 1-year. For smaller storm events, it appears that increasing the volume of an initial capture and the drawdown time to release that volume does not increase performance downstream. This is potentially significant as extra dollars spent on site would not provide extra benefit downstream. When post-development peak runoff rates are detained to the predevelopment rate for larger storm events, whether based on a site or watershed focused strategy, the watershed goal can be met. A volume reduction strategy performs well, but implementation is hindered by soils with poor infiltration and the presence of karst. Other insight to watershed based management strategies, the role of regional facilities and predevelopment condition assumptions at the site scale to maintain a baseline condition downstream are discussed.
- Masters Theses