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Application of Groundwater Modeling Tools to Evaluate Potential Impacts from Stormwater Infiltration in Philadelphia

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The Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Green City, Clean Waters program involves a widespread application of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) across its combined sewer overflow area. The program is part of the proposed long term control plan update for combined sewer overflow control in which GSI will be applied to more than 40% of the impervious cover over the next 25 years. A major concern regarding infiltration-type GSI is excessive groundwater table mounding such that it infiltrates into neighboring basements. PWD has evaluated groundwater mounding using three-dimensional groundwater models and is applying the models to site-specific designs to help refine a set of design criteria for GSI projects. Transient groundwater modeling to date shows that the water table could mound more than 1.37 meters (4.5 feet) immediately beneath infiltration trenches following significant rain events, however, the mounding is much less a short distance away from the infiltration trench and dissipates over several days.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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