With the implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA)
national pollution discharge elimination systems (NPDES) Phase I and II programs, much
interest has developed in the area of water quality treatment of stormwater runoff. Of primary
water quality concern are sediment and nutrients such as phosphorus (P). Dirt, sand, and other
solid particles are commonly quantified by measuring the total suspended solids (TSS) of a water
sample. TSS can severely and negatively impact an aquatic environment. The solids increase
turbidity, inhibit plant growth and diversity, affect river biota, and reduce the number of aquatic
species (Shammaa et al., 2002). Excess nutrients such as phosphorus can initiate large algae
blooms that generate negative aesthetic and eutrophic conditions in receiving lakes and rivers. In
inland water bodies, phosphorus is typically the limiting nutrient (Schindler, 1977) and can be
contributed to storm water from various sources such as fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings, etc.
(U.S. EPA., 1999). Total suspended solids and phosphorus are primary concerns of most stormwater
management plans, and little is known about the cost effectiveness of available stormwater
While some have studied the cost-effectiveness of available stormwater treatment practices (e.g.,
Weiss et al., 2007), many municipal and state agencies are now required to meet certain pollutant
removal criteria based on the USEPA requirements. To meet these requirements, development or
redevelopment of land must include stormwater treatment practices to achieve these pollutant
removal criteria. Some stormwater treatment practices were installed at 6400 West 105th street
in Bloomington, MN to protect downstream water resources by reducing stormwater runoff
volume and improving runoff water quality. This project measured the performance of one such
practice, a rain garden, to determine the reduction of stormwater runoff volume and the
Erickson, Andrew J.; Gulliver, John S..
Performance Assessment of a Rain Garden for Capturing Suspended Sediments and Phosphorus.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.