Title page for ETD etd-02162006-114633

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Angelo, Suzanne
URN etd-02162006-114633
Title Analysis of an Urban Stormwater Bioretention Management Practice in Prince William County, Virginia
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Grizzard, Thomas J. Committee Chair
Godrej, Adil N. Committee Member
Post, Harold E. II Committee Member
  • Stormwater Quality
  • BMP
  • Bioretention
Date of Defense 2005-11-21
Availability restricted
The performance of an urban stormwater bioretention management practice in the Kingsbrooke

Subdivision of Prince William County, Virginia was examined over a one-year period.

Bioretention is a relatively new urban stormwater best management practice (BMP) intended to mimic the

pollutant-removal characteristics of an upland forest habitat. Typical bioretention areas utilize shallow

ponding and highly-infiltrative sandy soils to treat the stormwater runoff from small commercial or

residential drainage sites. The Kingsbrooke bioretention area was found to be atypical in several ways,

including its relatively large, 14 acre, drainage area and the high clay content of its topsoil.

Hydrologic and chemical data were collected by Virginia Tech staff for a total of 8 months in 2003 and

2004. Analysis of pollutant loading data was complicated by the presence of three unmeasured water

flows: overland inflow bypassing the inflow gage, and groundwater flows both entering and exiting the

bioretention soils. The BMP did reduce peak runoff rates for some storms, but did not significantly reduce

total storm volumes because of the combined effects of the large drainage area to BMP area ratio and the

poor infiltration capacity of the soil. Pollutant load calculations determined that the site removed about

28% of total suspended solids, 32% of total phosphorus, and about 15% of total nitrogen. Removals of

approximately 16% and 7% were observed for lead and zinc, respectively. Although the Kingsbrooke

bioretention area did improve water quality, the pollutant removal efficiencies were lower than those

reported in the literature from more conventional bioretention areas.

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