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Nitrogen Removal from Urban Stormwater Runoff Through Layered Bioretention Columns

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Bioretention is a low-impact technology used for the treatment of stormwater runoff in developed areas. The fates of mineral nitrogen compounds in two bioretention columns (RP1 and RP2) with different media-layering characteristics were investigated under multiple loadings of simulated urban runoff. The immediate capture of nitrogen was evaluated, with nitrogen transformation reactions that occurred during the drying periods between rainfall events. A greater proportion of ammonium was removed from runoff in RP2 (68 ± 16%), which had a high permeability layer over a lower permeability layer, than in RP1 (12 ± 6%), which had the inverse configuration. Both column systems demonstrated nitrate export (9 ± 32% and 54 ± 22% greater than input for RP1 and RP2, respectively), attributed to washout of nitrate resulting from nitrification processes between runoff loading events. Bioretention media with a less permeable bottom soil layer could form an anoxic/anaerobic zone for promoting nitrification/denitrification processes.
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Keywords: ammonia; bioretention; eutrophication; nitrate; runoff; stormwater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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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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