Monitoring Methods for Prioritization and Assessment of Stormwater Practices

Principal Investigator(s):

Bruce Wilson, Professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering


  • John Chapman, Research Associate Professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Project summary:

Wise investment in the selection and implementation of stormwater practices requires the determination of the source and magnitude of water contaminants. This determination is fundamentally tied to the measurement of concentrations from rainfall and snowmelt events. Equipment and instrumentation to collect samples during runoff events are expensive and have considerable installation and maintenance costs. Improvement in monitoring techniques addresses all of the research program priorities, but this project is especially well suited to characterize urban stormwater. Discrete samples are taken using different sampling protocols. Important concentration values can easily be missed with these protocols. This issue can be addressed by using low-cost, nearly continuous water quality sensors. The use of these sensors has great potential, but more work is needed to implement them in field applications. The goal of this project is to improve the selection and effectiveness of stormwater practices by evaluating first-flush concentrations and the event mean concentrations obtained from different sampling methods. This goal will be achieved by compiling and analyzing first-flush and event mean concentrations from urban and highway surfaces, by evaluating different discrete sampling methods to determine event mean concentrations and by advancing the use of inexpensive and nearly continuous sensor data to determine pollutographs.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2020056
  • Start date: 06/2020
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy