Development and Regionalization of In Situ Bioslopes and Bioswales

Principal Investigator(s):

David Saftner, Associate Professor, UMD-Civil Engineering


  • Meijun Cai, Research Technical Manager, UMD-Nat Resources Rsrch Inst
  • Kurt Johnson, Former Research Fellow, UMD-Nat Resources Rsrch Inst

Project summary:

Drainage from highways, particularly the first flush of runoff, contains high levels of contaminants such as suspended solids, metals, and organics. To restrict the discharge of polluted stormwater, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) State Disposal System (SDS) General Permit, issued by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in 2013, requires that the first inch of stormwater runoff from new impervious should be held on site through infiltration, harvesting, or reuse. Multiple types of infiltration materials have been studied in the laboratory and the field, but few studies have considered the application of local materials for best management practices (BMP). The objective of this project is to build bioslopes and bioswales in situ using lessons learned from a previous project (Comparing Properties of Water Absorbing/Filtering Media for Bioslope/Bioswale Design) and determine laboratory testing procedures to accurately predict field performance. The previous project's laboratory results suggest that mixes of peat, muck, compost, taconite tailings, and sand will meet the Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) specifications for absorption, infiltration, filtration, and pollutant capture. This project will implement the mix designs in the field, monitoring results and comparing field results to laboratory results. The sites for the in situ evaluation will be determined by Dwayne Stenlund and other Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) members. In addition, existing bioslopes/bioswales will be evaluated to determine the aging effect. The utilization of local salvage materials for stormwater treatment has potential implications for future green infrastructure development, as well as reducing project cost.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2018014
  • Start date: 08/2017
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment

Reports or Products: