Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 167, Issue 1–4, pp 123–138 | Cite as

A Field Evaluation of Rain Garden Flow and Pollutant Treatment

Article

Abstract

Rain gardens have been recommended as a best management practice to treat stormwater runoff. However, no published field performance data existed on pollutant removal capabilities. Replicated rain gardens were constructed in Haddam, CT, to capture shingled-roof runoff. The gardens were sized to store the first 2.54 cm (1 inch) of runoff. Influent, overflow and percolate flow were measured using tipping buckets and sampled passively. Precipitation was also measured and sampled for quality. All weekly composite water samples were analyzed for total phosphorus (TP), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), and nitrite+nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N). Monthly composite samples were analyzed for copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn). Redox potential was measured using platinum electrodes. Poor treatment of NO3-N, TKN, organic-N, and TP in roof runoff was observed. Many Cu, Pb and Zn samples were below detection limit, so statistical analysis was not performed on these pollutants. The only pollutants significantly lower in the effluent than in the influent were NH3-N in both gardens and total-N in one garden. The design used for these rain gardens worked well for overall flow retention, but had little impact pollutant concentrations in percolate. These results suggest that if an underdrain is not connected to the stormwater system, high flow and pollutant retention could be achieved with the 2.54 cm design method.

Keywords

bioretention nutrients rain garden roof runoff stormwater urban 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, and Water Environment Federation: 1998, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th edn. American Public Health Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  2. Bannerman, R. T., Owens, D. W., Dodds, R. B. and Hornewer, N. J.: 1993, ‘Sources of pollutants in wisconsin stormwater’, Wat. Sci. Tech. 28(3-5), 241–259.Google Scholar
  3. Bohn, H. L., McNeal, B. L. and O'Connor, G. A.: 2001, Soil Chemistry, 3rd edn., John Wiley and Sons, New York, 302 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Carley, R. J., Perkins, C., Trahiotis, M. and Nadim, F.: 2001, ‘Final report, nitrogen deposition monitoring in connecticut’, Environmental Research Institute, University of Connecticut, submitted to Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Air Management Bureau Chief, Hartford, CT, 06106.Google Scholar
  5. Chang, M. and Crowley, C. M.: 1993, ‘Preliminary observations on water quality of storm runoff from four selected residential roofs’, Water Resources Bulletin 29(5), 777–783.Google Scholar
  6. City of Lenexa: 2003, ‘Rain Garden Design Principles’, City of Lenexa Watershed Management Division, Lenexa, KS.Google Scholar
  7. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: 2002, ‘Water Quality Standards’, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, A. P., Shokouhian, M., Sharma, H. and Minami, C.: 2001, ‘Laboratory study of biological retention for urban stormwater management’, Water Environ. Res. 73(1), 5–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Eaton, J. S., Likens, G. E. and Bormann, F. H.: 1973, ‘Throughfall and stemflow chemistry in a northern hardwood forest’, J. Ecol. 61(2), 495–508.Google Scholar
  10. Ferguson, B. K. and Suckling, P. W.: 1990, ‘Changing rainfall-runoff relationships in the urbanizing peachtree creek watershed, Atlanta, Georgia’, J. Am. Water Resour. Assoc. 26(2), 313–322.Google Scholar
  11. Gee, G. W. and Bauder, J. W.: 1979, ‘Particle size analysis by hydrometer: A simplified method for routine textural analysis and a sensitivity test of measurement parameters’, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 43, 1004–1007.Google Scholar
  12. Huang, C. P., Elliott, H. A. and Ashmead, R. M.: 1977, ‘Interfacial reactions and the fate of heavy metals in soil-water systems’, J. Water. Pollut. Con. Fed. 49(5), 745–756.Google Scholar
  13. Hunt, W. F. and White, N.: 2001, ‘Urban waterways: Designing rain gardens (Bioretention Areas)’, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.Google Scholar
  14. Kim, H., Seagren, E. A. and Davis, A. P.: 2003, ‘Engineered bioretention for removal of nitrate from stormwater runoff’, Water Environ. Res. 75(4), 355–367.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kuichling, E.: 1889, ‘The relation between the rainfall and the discharge of sewers in populous districts’, Trans. Am. Soc. Civ. Eng. 20, 1–60.Google Scholar
  16. Leopold, L. B.: 1968, ‘Hydrology for urban land planning-a guidebook on the hydrologic effects of urban land use’, Geological Survey Circular 554.Google Scholar
  17. Mason, Y., Ammann, A. A., Ulrich, A. and Sigg, L.: 1999, ‘Behavior of heavy metals, nutrients, and major components during roof runoff infiltration’, Environ. Sci. Technol. 33, 1588–1597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nadim, F., Trahiotis, M., Stapcinskaite, S., Perkins, C., Carley, R., Hoag, G. E. and Yang, X.: 2001, ‘Estimation of wet, dry and bulk deposition of atmospheric nitrogen in connecticut’, J. Environ. Monitoring. 3, 671–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 2003, Climatological data annual summary, New England. National Climatic Data Center. Asheville, NC.Google Scholar
  20. NEC-67 (Northeast Regional Coordinating Committee on Soil Testing): 1995, Recommended Soil Testing Procedures for the Northeastern United States, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Delaware, DE, USA. Bulletin #493.Google Scholar
  21. Novotny, V. and Olem, H.: 1994, Water Quality: Prevention, Identification, and Management of Diffuse Pollution, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1054 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Prince George's County: 1993, ‘Design Manual for Use of Bioretention in Stormwater Management’, Prince George's County (MD) Government, Department of Environmental Protection. Watershed Protection Branch, Landover, MD.Google Scholar
  23. Prince George's County: 2002, ‘The Bioretention Manual’, Prince George's County (MD) Government, Department of Environmental Protection. Watershed Protection Branch, Landover, MD.Google Scholar
  24. SAS Institute, Inc.: 2002, The SAS System for Windows (Release 9.0). Cary, NC.Google Scholar
  25. SCS (U.S. Soil Conservation Service): 1986, Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Technical Release No. 55 (revised). 210-VI-TR-55.Google Scholar
  26. Soil Science Society of America: 2002, Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4: Physical Methods, Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, WI, 53711, 1692 pp.Google Scholar
  27. Sumner, M. E. and Miller, W. P.: 1996, ‘Cation exchange capacity and exchange coefficients’, in Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3. Chemical Methods, Soil Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI, USA, pp. 1201–1221.Google Scholar
  28. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service: 1979, ‘Soil survey of Middlesex County, Connecticut’.Google Scholar
  29. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 1978, ‘Microbiological Methods for Monitoring the Environment’, EPA 600/8-78-017. Office of Research and Development. Cincinnati, OH 45268.Google Scholar
  30. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 1983a, ‘Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes’, EPA 600/4-79-020. Office of Research and Development. Cincinnati, Ohio, 45268.Google Scholar
  31. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 1983b, ‘Results of the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program’, NTIS PB84-185552.Google Scholar
  32. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 1994, ‘Method 6020, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry’, EPA SW-846 Ch. 3.3, Revision 0, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45268.Google Scholar
  33. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 2000, ‘Low Impact Development (LID), a Literature Review’, EPA-841-B-00-005, Office of Water, Washington, DC, 20460.Google Scholar
  34. United States Environmental Protection Agency: 2001, ‘Method 200.7, Trace Elements in Water, Solids, and Biosolids by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry’, Revision 5.0, EPA-821-R-01-010, Office of Research and Development, Cincinatti, Ohio, 45268.Google Scholar
  35. Waananen, A. O.: 1969, ‘Urban effects on water yield’, in W. L. Moore and C. W. Morgan (eds), Effects of Watershed Changes on Streamflow, University of Texas Press, Austin and London, 89 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Wisonsin Department of Natural Resources: 2003, ‘Rain gardens: A How-To Manual for Homeowners’, DNR Publication PUB-WT-776 2003.Google Scholar
  37. Yang, X., Miller, D. R., Xu, X., Yang, L. H., Chen, H. M. and Nikolaidis, N. P.: 1996, ‘Spatial and temporal variations of atmospheric deposition in interior and coastal connecticut’, Atmos. Environ. 30(22), 3801–3810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zobrist, J., Müller, S. R., Ammann, A., Bucheli, T. D., Mottier, V., Ochs, M., Schoenenberger, R., Eugster, J. and Boller, M.: 2000, ‘Quality of roof runoff for groundwater infiltration’, Water Res. 34(5), 1455–1462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources Management and EngineeringUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations