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Bioretention and LID

Completed and Ongoing Research at the University of Maryland

The first studies on bioretention began in 1996.  Since then a number of studies have been initiated.  Some of the work has been completed and is in various stages of being published.  These projects are summarized in the links below.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
Published Research Results on Bioretention and LID Bioretention and LID Research at other Universities
 

 

 

 

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Optimizing Grass Swales for Pollutant Removal

Project to begin Fall 2006

 

 

 

     

Bioretention Research and Performance Monitoring at Kenilworth Avenue

 

Project to begin Fall 2006

 

 

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Storm Water Runoff Storage Temperature Studies

Project to begin Fall 2006

 

 

 

Unit Process Modeling of Infiltration-Based Stormwater Management Practices

This project began in Summer 2006 and is sponsored by TATE, Incorporated.   The work will develop advanced mathematical and mechanistic models to describe water and pollutant fate in bioretention facilities.  These models will employ a unit operations approach, specifically considering mass balances in each treatment practice and analyzing the design parameters. The goal of this research is to better predict the subsurface characteristics of pollutants and to improve the design of long-term, sustainable bioretention projects

Details to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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Transport and Capture of Pathogens from Urban Stormwater Runoff using Bioretention

This research study began in Fall, 2005 and is sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology.  Column and field studies will be employed to investigate E. coli transport, capture, and dieoff in bioretention media.  The capability of both traditional sand and soil layers, as well as novel engineered media layers (iron oxide-coated sand) will be systematically evaluated in laboratory studies for their capacity to capture pathogens. 

More details on this project.

 

 

Low Impact Development Performance Monitoring

Two bioretention facilities, one at the University of Maryland Campus and one in Montgomery County (MD) will be monitored for at least one year after the completion of construction.  This project will provide information on the performance of bioretention as a storm water management practice in an urban retrofit situation, with specific focus on the behavior of highly toxic contaminants at trace levels.  Rigorous demonstration of reduction of toxic concentrations and of mass loadings will allow modeling and predictions for the use of this technology in other areas of the Anacostia watershed, and throughout the US.

This project began in Spring 2006

More details on this project.

 

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Investigation of Stormwater Devices using Filter Media

This project began in Fall 2004 and is now complete. The purpose of this project is to investigate the pollutant removal characteristics of three storm water filtration devices in the District of Columbia.  The three technologies selected include a Stormfilter (a proprietary filtration device), a bioretention facility, and a sand filter.  These systems are being monitored over a period of approximately one year to obtain samples from several storm events and evaluated for pollutants that are of concern in the Anacostia watershed.  Additionally, core samples of the three filters are being collected. These cores will be evaluated for total pollutant accumulations and the form and fate of these pollutants within the media.

More details on this project.

 

 

Grass Swales for Pollutant Removal

The research and monitoring portion of this project begin in Fall 2004 and is now complete.  Grassed swales have been used near roadways for many years for the conveyance of stormwater runoff. Nonetheless, good performance data and mechanistic understanding of swale design parameters are not available.  A full-scale input/output monitoring system has been set up to monitor two different grass swales on Rt. 32 in Maryland.  The objectives of this work were to systematically quantify the effects of some operational parameters for water quality improvement using grass swales.

More details on this project.

 

 

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Capture and Fate of Suspended Solids in Bioretention

This project began in early 2003.  The purpose of this project is to determine suspended solids removal performance and the relative colloid movement in bioretention media.  A fundamental suspended solids capture model is under development.  Both lab scale experiments and field data will be employed to evaluate the model.

More details on this project.

 

 

Dynamic Study of Metal Fates in Bioretention Systems

This research began January 2003 and is now complete.  Pot prototypes are built to simulate the conditions of natural grass growth in bioretention.  Of interest is to evaluate the fate of heavy metals that are captured by bioretention soil media.  Mass balances are used to investigate the amounts of metals that are taken up by grasses in a bioretention situation.   

A manuscript describing this work is in press.

More details on this project.

 

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Bioretention for Research and Education

This project is supporting the installation and monitoring of two parallel bioretention cells on the University of Maryland campus.  Each cell has a different design.  The cells are being used for student and public education on Low Impact Development.  They are also being monitored for input and output water quality to investigate long-term performance characteristics.  The project is sponsored by The Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.  Co-Principle Investigators are Drs. Scott Angle (now at the University of Georgia) and Pat Kangas of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

More details on this project.

 

 

Oil and Grease Capture from Storm Water using Bioretention Media

This research study just completed.  It was sponsored by the Maryland Water Resources Research Center.  Co-Principle Investigator on this project is Dr. Eric Seagren

This study used a specially designed reactor to evaluate the capture and biodegradation of petroleum products in a layer of mulch, as in bioretention.

A manuscript describing this work has been published.

More details on this project.

 

Maryland Water Resources Research Center

 

 

 

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Low Impact Development Implementation Studies

This project began in September, 2000, funded by the Maryland State Highway Administration.  The purpose of this study is to quantify the quality of roadway runoff from a highly urbanized area.  Runoff samples are collected for a six-hour duration during storm events with at least one-week intervals.  In 2003 and 2004, a set of gutter filters and bioretention inlets were installed at the site.  Monitoring of runoff flow and quality continue to evaluate changes in water quality.  These data will provide quantitative information on the efficacy of LID technologies in an ultra urban area.  The Low Impact Development Center is a subcontractor on this project. 

More details on this project.

 

 

Engineering Bioretention to Optimize Pollutant Removals

This research study began in August, 2000 and is now complete.  The investigation is sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology.  Column and field studies have been employed to investigate tradeoffs between infiltration rates and pollutant removals in the use of various media and media mixtures in bioretention.  Several types of sand, soil, and mulch were studied for the removal of suspended solids, lead, ammonia-N, nitrate-N, phosphorus, and oil & grease.  Results show very effective removal of suspended solids, oil & grease, and lead regardless of the media.  Nutrient removals are dependent on the media in a more complex way.

Two manuscripts have been published describing this work and a third is in press.

More details on this project.

 

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Maryland Water Resources Research Center

Engineering Bioretention for Nitrate Removal

This research study began March 1999 and is now completed.  It was sponsored by the Maryland Water Resources Research Center.  Co-Principle Investigator on this project was Dr. Eric Seagren

Current bioretention design does not contain provisions for nitrate removal.  Column tests were used to investigate the feasibility of creating a denitrification zone in a bioretention facility.   Studies evaluated a shredded newspaper/sand layer to determine design nitrogen loadings, effects of dormant periods, and use in pilot-scale bioretention cells.

A manuscript has been published describing this work.

More details on this project.

Initial Bioretention Studies

In 1996, a two-year study was initiated to quantify the effectiveness of bioretention in terms of pollutant removal. The study included laboratory and field experimentation to determine pollutant removal efficiency.  The work was completed through the University of Maryland in collaboration with the Prince George's County, Maryland, Department of Environmental Resources, and through support of the National Science Foundation.

This work consisted of laboratory column studies, box bioretention prototype studies, and field studies of existing bioretention facilities.  It was completed in 1999.  Three manuscripts have been published describing this work.

More details on this project.

 

 

 

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September 26, 2006