Wet Pond Maintenance for Phosphorus Retention

Principal Investigator(s):

John Gulliver, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


Project summary:

Minnesota has over thirty thousand stormwater retention ponds that treat and control stormwater runoff, which can carry pollutants into lakes and streams from roads and other impervious surfaces. Ponds store runoff and settle solids along with associated pollutants to the bottom of the pond. However, there is increasing evidence that ponds may no longer be providing the water quality benefits of the original design (Taguchi et al. 2018a, 2018b). Some ponds can re-release phosphorus trapped in the bottom sediments back into the water column (i.e., internal phosphorus loading), primarily under low dissolved oxygen conditions. Since ponds are part of the watershed network that delivers runoff containing phosphorus into lakes and streams, it is critical to maintain ponds, especially older ponds, and develop methods to improve their functionality. Through modeling efforts and field measurements this research will investigate pond maintenance and re-design approaches to mitigate phosphorus pollution from ponds. Thus, this project will 1) model pond re-design and maintenance methods that can reduce internal phosphorus loading and 2) collect field measurements and perform data analysis to verify the model and improve performance of stormwater ponds for phosphorus retention. Results from this study can be used to maintain and apply design retrofits to existing and new ponds to improve pond performance and benefits for use along roadways throughout Minnesota and the United States.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2020005
  • Start date: 05/2019
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Environment and Energy