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Stormwater BMPs are becoming commonly used throughout the United States. One of the questions facing design engineers and developers is what is the optimum practice to select for a particular watershed size, land cost, and target pollutant. Pollutant removal efficiencies using regional data were collected to determine median pollutant removal rates for four different BMPs: wet ponds, stormwater wetlands, sand filters, and bioretention areas. The target pollutants studied are TSS, TP, and NO3 . Construction and maintenance costs were found for over 40 BMPs in North Carolina. A simple tool is presented that links the removal efficiencies of BMPs to their associated costs (land, maintenance, and construction). The analysis finds that (1) bio-retention is most often the most cost-effective BMP for small mostly impermeable watersheds, (2) the cost-effectiveness of stormwater wetlands and wet ponds are comparable when including land and opportunity costs, and (3) economies of scale exist.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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