Abstract This study includes the classification and characterization of alternative biofiltration media. Materials were evaluated using a series of standardized tests. The performance and physical properties of alternative media were then compared to the currently specified biofiltration mixture of compost and sand. Results from laboratory testing reveal that compost and peat have similar physical properties and infiltrate and retain water at similar rates. Muck soils were found to be inferior to compost by the same performance criteria. These results indicate that peat soils may be a viable alternative to compost for use as a soil additive for biofiltration devices. This study also included the design of field test plots and the configuration of remote field monitoring equipment. The construction of six field test plots comparing compost and peat added as a soil amendment are described. Instrumentation was configured to collect long-term rainfall and water-storage data to evaluate performance in-situ.