Enhancement and Validation of a Stormwater Pond Assessment Tool

Principal Investigator(s):

Poornima Natarajan, Research Associate, SAFHL - Hydraulic Lab


  • Ben Janke, Research Associate, SAFHL - Hydraulic Lab

Project summary:

This project is focused on testing and improving an existing pond assessment tool, which was developed by the researchers in a previous project and designed to use readily available spatial, water quality, and pond data to indicate risk and provide estimates of high water column phosphorus, sediment phosphate release, and anoxia in ponds treating stormwater. A beta version of the tool was well-received by that project's technical advisory panel, but further workshops were not feasible under that project. To make the tool truly useful to stormwater practitioners, the research team sees three research activities as particularly necessary: (1) additional analysis of existing data to develop a pond water balance component in the assessment tool; (2) validation of the tool by testing on ponds with sufficient data and independent estimates of key outputs (pond total phosphorus concentration, anoxia, sediment phosphorus release); and (3) additional workshops to reach a wider audience and solicit feedback to improve the usability and outputs of the tool, including a framework for using the tool in prioritizing monitoring and maintenance of ponds. A key output of the proposed work would be a public version of the pond assessment tool; with components for dissolved oxygen status and hydrologic retention of ponds, the tool has potential applicability to runoff pollutants other than phosphorus as well. Researchers will partner with the City of Minneapolis in all project tasks, making use of their intensive pond data collection efforts, which are relevant to both development and testing of the tool's components.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2024018
  • Start date: 07/2023
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Environment and Energy