Traditionally, the selection of BMPs has been done only by proficient stormwater experts guided by little more than vaguely written regulations, experience, and intuition. They rely heavily on past knowledge, tradition, or even personal preference for particular methods of controlling stormwater runoff, explains Kevin Young, research associate at CGIT.
Young adds that all too often personal bias has led to cookie-cutter solutions to very complex stormwater management needs, resulting in poor control of the pollutants.
A widely used, conventional BMP is to build detention ponds near commercial or residential areas, regardless of the actual construction site needs and conditions. The stormwater is directed to a detention pond where gravity takes over, depositing sediment and some pollutants onto the bottom, says Younos. Pond overflow that still may contain dissolved pollutants reaches streams, rivers, and lakes, and possibly groundwater.
Other types of BMPs are trenches and porous pavement that allow the stormwater to infiltrate the ground, vegetated wetlands, and sand filters that help sift the pollutants, or proprietary stormwater technologies such as hydrodynamic separators.
The new tool will be pilot-tested on Town of Blacksburgs storm water system and the local Stroubles Creek watershed. The AHP software will be used by the research team to select BMPs within the watershed contributing runoff to Stroubles Creek, the towns main receiving water body. Two existing computer models will then be used to simulate how efficient the selected BMPs are at removing the stormwater runoff pollutants.
The best part about conducting a pilot test on Blacksburg is that the town will be able to implement our recommendations, says Younos. We are very pleased by the towns enthusiasm and support for this project. Other stakeholders include the New River Planning District Commi
|Contact: Ana Constantinescu|