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Performance Assessment of a Street-Drainage Bioretention System

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Event-based, flow-paced composite sampling was carried out at the inlet and outlet of a street-side bioretention facility in Seattle, Washington, to assess its ability to reduce street runoff quantity and pollutants. Over 2.5 years, 48 to 74% of the incoming runoff was lost to infiltration and evaporation. Outlet pollutant concentrations were significantly lower than those at the inlet for nearly all monitored constituents. In terms of mass, the system retained most of the incoming pollutants. Besides soluble reactive phosphorus (the mass of which possibly increased), dissolved copper was the least effectively retained; at least 58% of dissolved copper (and potentially as much as 79%) was captured by the system. Motor oil was removed most effectively, with 92 to 96% of the incoming motor oil not leaving the system. The results indicate that bioretention systems can achieve a high level of runoff retention and treatment in real-weather conditions.

Keywords: best management practices; bioretention; low-impact development; runoff; stormwater; water quality monitoring

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2010

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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