Research Reports

Laboratory Measurements of Stormwater Quality Improvement in Detention Ponds

Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey D Weiss, Miki Hondzo

March 2004

Report no. MnDOT 2004-21

Projects: Laboratory Measurements of Storm Water Quality Improvements in Detention Ponds

Topics: Storm water

Recent interest in detention ponds and constructed wetlands has extended to improving the quality of the runoff by reducing the concentrations of pollutants associated with stormwater runoff. Lead, zinc, copper, cadmium, phosphorus, and chloride are the contaminants of primary concern in the state of Minnesota. This study examined removal mechanisms in detention ponds. Three wetland graminoids, Glyceria grandis (reed manna grass), Scirpus validus (soft stem bulrush), and Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) were studied for their phytoremediation capabilities for the six target contaminants. The uptake rates of the six target contaminants by the sediments of a detention pond were determined. These two removal processes were incorporated in an analytical model that can be used to determine critical parameters for the design of a detention pond that would produce effluent guidelines that meet requirements set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Removal rates for the three species were determined. Uptake rates were dependent on both the contaminant and species. The removal rates of the phytoremediation and the sorption sediment experiments were combined to develop a numerical model to simulate the removal mechanisms in detention ponds. This model can be used to develop design plots for a detention pond.

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