Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018AL189B

APPLICATION OF CELLULAR CONFINEMENT SYSTEMS TO MITIGATE SEDIMENTRELATED ISSUES IN STORMWATER SYSTEMS

Institute: Alabama
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $24,970 Total Non-Federal Funds: $52,967

Principal Investigators: Jose Vasconcelos Neto, Leigh Terry

Abstract: J. Identification and Statement of the Major Regional Water Problem: One important challenge within stormwater management is the environmental impacts created by erosive processes and pollutants present in sediments that are discharged to receiving water bodies. Sediment particles are mobilized by erosive processes in watersheds and within stormwater facilities. Pollutants bound to sediment particles within the runoff (Budai and Clement 2007; Brodie and Egodawalta 2011) impact physicochemical parameters on receiving waters, as well aquatic organisms living in the receiving water bodies (Marsalek et al., 1999; Johnson et al., 2011; Rossi et al., 2013). Various Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been used to improve stormwater management, including reduction of sediment generation and sediment discharges. In many instances, hydraulic energy dissipation is needed, and riprap is often used in this context, even in cases when its costs are high due to transportation. Cellular confinement systems (CCS), also referred to as geocells, have been applied for soil stabilization (Caltrans, 2006), shore stabilization (ASWCC, 2014), channel lining, among others. However, the honeycomb shape of CCS creates significant energy dissipation to flows, shielding sediments within its cells. Recent research found that CCS improve settling, prevent erosion, and sediment resuspension (He et al., 2014; He and Marsalek, 2014; Simpson et al, 2017). In various instances CCS have the potential of being a lower cost alternative to riprap. This research will perform upscaled tests with CCS in actual stormwater systems to assess its potential. Municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) operators across the State of Alabama could benefit from the use of CCS to improve stormwater management by potentially lowering costs of the drainage facilities they operate.