Title page for ETD etd-05142008-043141

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author DeBusk, Kathy Marie
URN etd-05142008-043141
Title Stormwater Treatment by Two Retrofit Infiltration Practices
Degree Master of Science
Department Biological Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wynn, Theresa M. Committee Chair
Hession, W. Cully Committee Member
Kibler, David F. Committee Member
  • structural soil
  • BMP
  • rain garden
  • stormwater
  • bioretention
  • infiltration trench
Date of Defense 2008-04-29
Availability unrestricted
Increases in impervious surfaces associated with urbanization change stream

hydrology by increasing peak flow rates, storm-flow volumes and flood frequency, and

degrade water quality through increases in sediment, nutrient, and bacteria

concentrations. In response to water quality and quantity issues within the Stroubles

Creek watershed, the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech designed and constructed

two innovative stormwater best management practices (BMPs). The goal of this project

was to evaluate the effectiveness of a bioretention cell and a CU-Structural Soil™

infiltration trench. BMP construction was completed in July 2007. Twenty-nine

precipitation events were monitored over a period of five months between October 2007

and March 2008. For each storm, inflow and outflow composite samples were collected

for each BMP and analyzed for suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus,

fecal coliform bacteria and E-coli bacteria. The inflow and outflow concentrations and

loads, as well as total inflow and outflow volumes and peak flow rates, were then

compared to evaluate how well each BMP reduces stormwater flows, decrease peak

runoff rates and improves water quality of stormwater runoff. Results for the bioretention

cell indicate average reductions in stormwater quantity, sediment, total nitrogen, total

phosphorus and fecal coliform bacteria that exceeded 99% by mass. The CU-Structural

Soil™ infiltration trench produced reductions in stormwater quantity, total phosphorus

and sediment that averaged 60%, 45% and 51%, respectively. Preliminary bacteria

results indicated that both BMPs served as sources of E-coli, and the infiltration trench

served as a source of fecal coliform bacteria.

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