Performance Evaluation of a Low Impact Development Retrofit for Urban Stormwater Treatment


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Virginia Tech


The goal of Low Impact Development (LID) is to mimic the pre-development hydrologic regime of a catchment through infiltration, filtration, storage, evaporation, and detention of post-development runoff using small-scale hydrologic controls close to the source. A LID facility located in Northern Virginia was examined for pollutant removal and hydrologic performance. The treatment train included four in-line grass swales followed by a bioretention cell with a gravel base. The facility retained 85% of the rainfall. Influent and effluent pollutant loads were calculated using three common substitution methods for datasets censored by values below the analytical detection limit. The Summation of Loads (SOL) method was used to facilitate understanding of how data censoring affected performance results when substitution methods were used. The SOL analysis showed positive removal performance for most nutrient species, sediment, oxygen demanding substances, selected trace metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Negative performance was observed for oxidized nitrogen, total dissolved solids and oil & grease. LID facility influent and effluent loads were also compared using the Effluent Probability Method (EPM). The EPM analysis showed statistically significant (p d 0.05) pollutant load removal performance over the entire range of sampled events for total suspended solids, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, chemical oxygen demand, copper, zinc and alkalinity. EPM analysis did not show significant removals of oxidized nitrogen, total dissolved solids, orthophosphate phosphorus and hardness.



Bioretention, Low Impact Development, Summation of Loads Method, Effluent Probability Method, Censored Datasets