Simulation and Assessment of Long-Term Stormwater Basin Performance under Real-Time Control Retrofits

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Virginia Tech


The use of real-time control (RTC) as an adaptation technique for improving existing stormwater systems has been gaining attention in recent years for its ability to enhance water quality and quantity treatment. A case study RTC retrofit of seven existing detention basins was simulated for a small (162 ha), urbanized watershed in Blacksburg, VA. Two heuristic, reactive control algorithms were tested and compared for their ability to improve hydraulic conditions at each detention basin and the watershed outlet through manipulation of an actuated valve, under various permutations of RTC retrofitting (single facility, multiple facilities, etc.). Change in peak flow during 24-hour design storms was assessed. RTC only reduced peak flows at some of the facilities for storms with a return period of 2 years or less. For larger storms, RTC maintained or increased peak flow rates. During a 15-year simulation with historic precipitation data, total duration of erosive flows was reduced for most facility retrofit simulations; however, the duration of high intensity flows increased, or remained unchanged. This result was also reflected at the watershed outlet.



stormwater management, smart watersheds, real-time control (RTC), continuous monitoring and adaptive control (CMAC), retrofit