Monitoring methods for prioritization and assessment of stormwater practices

Wise investment in the selection and implementation 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 the 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 highways 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.

Projected outcomes

  • Compilation of first flush and event mean concentrations
  • Develop relationships between first flush and event mean concentration
  • Develop and distribute software for non-constant proportional sampling
  • Make recommendations on the best approach for discrete sampling
  • Advance the use of nearly continuous samplers.

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