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The Importance of Particle Characterization in Stormwater Runoff

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Treatment units for stormwater management are being routinely required for new construction and upgrading of older facilities. This paper shows how particle size distribution affects the removal of sedimentation units and how erroneous results are often obtained if one uses simple overall removal efficiency or if the particle size distribution is not considered. Two full-scale devices are used for demonstration. A hydrodynamic device, which generally have low, overall suspended solids removal efficiency, is used for the first case, and it is shown that it actually removes large particles very well but has virtually no removal of small particles. The second case is for a dry detention basin. It is shown that the removal rates are generally in accord with sedimentation theory, removing larger and medium size particles well. Using particle size distribution in evaluating treatment unit performance is a more accurate and precise way of determining the actual performance.

Keywords: best management practices; highway runoff; particle size distribution; runoff treatment units; stormwater runoff

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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