Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017DC186B

Measurement and Performance Analysis of UDC Van-Ness Campus Green Roof System with automated sensors

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $9,901 Total Non-Federal Funds: $4,752

Principal Investigators: Sasan Haghani, Pradeep Behera, Sassan Aflaki

Abstract: Urban stormwater management has been a very critical issue for most of the metropolitan cities in the United States. The older metropolitan cities which are serviced by both combined and separate sewer systems face severe stormwater quantity problems (i.e., flooding, overflows, sewer back up, stream bank erosion) and water quality problems (i.e., CSOs and stormwater discharges, water pollution and receiving water quality problems). The severity of the problem has been continuously emphasized due to climate change, aging drainage infrastructure and high impervious areas. The high impervious cover resulting in higher runoff volume and with faster velocities to local receiving waters through CSOs and polluted stormwater discharges. Similar to many older cities in the nation, the sewer system in the District of Columbia is comprised of both combined and separate sewer systems. It has been recognized that these systems contribute significant pollution to the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek through Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and Storm Sewer discharges during wet-weather (i.e., rainfall and snowmelt) events [1-3]. These overflows and associated pollutant loads can adversely impact the quality of the receiving waters. 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 impacts of stormwater quantity and quality has been implementation of best management practices such as low impact developments, rain barrels, green roofs, bioretention ponds and constructed wetlands etc. 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. In last few years, District has been emphasizing the implementation of green roofs as means of quality control and availability of number of flat roofs. The goal of the proposed research is to measure stormwater runoff from a newly built green roof located at the Van-Ness campus of University of the District of Columbia. The research will involve the installation of equipment to measure and record of the actual precipitation and runoff quantity parameters as well as green roof’s soil moisture content at different depths to evaluate the quantity control performance of green roof system in controlling stormwater runoff volume, peak flow and time delay of the peak flow. The outcomes of this seed grant research are to develop a larger proposal to EPA and/or NSF to provide funding for a large scale, integrated assessment of the impact of various green roof systems on the storm-water quantity and quality in the District of Columbia.