Design Considerations for Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances: What Defines Success?

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Title: Design Considerations for Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances: What Defines Success?
Author: Buchholz, George
Abstract: BUCHHOLZ, GEORGE HENRY. Design Considerations for Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances: What Defines Success? (Under the direction of Dr. Harry Daniels.) Regenerative stormwater conveyances (RSCs) are innovative and alternative measures used to detain and control stormwater runoff. RSCs mimic wetland and stream complexes by combining benefits from these natural systems and incorporating them into a stormwater control measure (SCM) that provides structural stability, micro-habitat, in addition to potentially providing groundwater recharge and nutrient removal benefits. In this study, a review of 13 papers was conducted, of which one paper reviewed 100 papers, to determine if there are measurable and standard definitions of success for RSCs and whether potential ecosystem service benefits can be provided. Field investigations were conducted on two constructed RSCs in Chapel Hill, NC and Durham, NC with the primary focus of evaluating whether the systems successfully manage stormwater runoff in an effort to secondarily confer potential nutrient and sediment removal capabilities by examining biological indicators. Utilizing the equation and removal adjustor curves developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program Expert Panels, the examined Chapel Hill RSC would have an estimated 47% total nitrogen (TN), 57% total phosphorus (TP), and 60% total suspended solids (TSS) annual removal rate and the examined Durham RSC would have an estimated 57% TN, 65% TP, and 70% TSS annual removal rate. Based on the research and field investigations, it was determined that RSCs are structurally stable systems effective at detaining and conveying stormwater runoff and the examined RSCs are functioning successfully, thereby, achieving the primary function of managing stormwater runoff within a specific drainage area. However, there are research gaps in the lack of nutrient removal design standards for RSC systems. There is evidence that biogeochemical reactions occur within RSCs systems similar to that of wetland and stream complexes indicating that RSC systems have nutrient and sediment removal capabilities. However, research data on water quality monitoring is lacking for RSCs that reduces the reliability of calculating nutrient and sediment removal rates given the site specific nature of each RSC.
Date: 2017-04

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