Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2010DC114B

Development of Analytical Tools to Evaluate the Performance of Low Impact Developments in the District of Columbia

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2010 Start Date: 2010-03-01 End Date: 2011-01-28
Total Federal Funds: $11,183 Total Non-Federal Funds: $18,710

Principal Investigators: Arash Massoudieh, Pradeep Behera

Abstract: Stormwater reduction is a very important issue in many urban areas in the United States but particularly in the District of Columbia due to the combined sewer system and the impact the stormwater discharge has on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem [1-3]. Anacostia River was determined to be one of the most polluted water bodies in the nation mainly due to the combined stormwater and municipal wastewater discharged to it during peak runoff [4]. A cost effective and sustainable way to reduce the stormwater and to remove the pollutions associated with it is using best management practices such as retention and detention basins, rain barrels, green roof, bioretention ponds and constructed wetlands. However due to the high cost of land in dense urban areas such as the District of Columbia it is highly desirable to minimize the land occupied by these facilities by optimizing their performance. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a modeling framework to 1) predict the volume of storm-water generated during storms as a result of various LID strategies and combination and placements of stormwater BMPs. 2) to assess the quality of water as a result of various LID design strategies and 3) to be able to use the model to optimize the design and operation of BMPs to minimize the cost while maintaining the risk below the acceptable limits. The analysis of urban stormwater pollution is a primary step in developing cost-effective solutions for wet-weather flow problems. Often the solutions are proposed based on limited monitoring and modeling efforts due to their exorbitant cost. Continuous simulation models have been used to analyze the existing watershed and stormwater pollution condition and to develop alternative solutions. The example of continuous simulation model includes EPA SWMM. As these models are resource intensive, often development of watershedwide simulation models is avoided during planning-level analysis. On the other hand analytical probabilistic models are computationally efficient compared to continuous simulation models and can be easily used to evaluate the watershed-wide hydrology and to optimize the storm-water management strategies. Modeling the LID systems with different techniques may help the engineers and professionals to minimize the resources in analysis and design of system. Fpr example, for the District of Columbia sewer system, analytical models can be easily applied to analyze the existing water pollution problem and to develop alternate solutions at the screening-level analysis. The detail physically-based continuous model can be used during the design-level analysis.