Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016NJ379B

Comparing the time required for establishment of effective nutrient removal capacity of different stormwater basin designs

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,037

Principal Investigators: Theresa Censoplano, Louise Wootton

Abstract: A solution to dealing with excessive quantities of phosphorous and nitrogen in the Barnegat Bay lies in limiting the amount of nutrients that make their way into aquatic ecosystems (Dietz and Clausen 2005). One approach is the use of subsurface gravel wetlands (SSGW), which allows a decrease in water flow and filtration as water flows horizontally through a wetland system promoting the conversion of nitrogen fertilizer chemicals to harmless nitrogen gas. This study will test the effectiveness of nutrient removal of four different designs of subsurface gravel wetlands, with a focus on nitrogen pollution reduction. The four wetlands to be tested are: a wetland built on the original University of New Hampshire Storm water Center (UNHSC) subsurface gravel wetland design, two modified UNHSC designs, one of which contains a simplified plumbing design and the other a deeper gravel layer and an Advanced Bioretention System. Water collected in a central well from a large parking lot at Georgian Court University will be split into equal flows that will feed the four test wetlands. Water samples will be collected during major rain events from the central well, as well as from each wetland outlet and tested for ammonia, total Kjeldahl N, nitrate, nitrite, total N, total P and orthophosphate. Nutrient removal efficiency will be determined through comparisons of inlet and outlet nutrient concentrations of each test wetland. The resulting information will be used to inform development of best management practices for stormwater design.