Stormwater runoff from urban and suburban areas can damage the environmental health of
receiving streams from increased flow rates during rain events, reduced base flow, and increased
loading of pollutants associated with the runoff. Low-impact or green infrastructure techniques
that are decentralized or dispersed throughout the watershed can mitigate these impacts. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Sustainable
Environments Branch (EPA) developed a field research project to measure the effects of green
practices on stream hydrology and quality on a watershed scale.
The suburban watershed selected for this study includes both single-family residential land use
and a forested park. The hydrology and water quality of Shepherd Creek have been monitored by
EPA and some reaches were found to be affected by urbanization. The use of dispersed Best
Management Practices (BMPs) that infiltrate or detain runoff were planned and implemented for
this area, with continued monitoring during and after the implementation to measure the effects
on Shepherd Creek.
In 2007, Tetra Tech, as contractor to EPA, implemented a reverse auction to solicit participation
by area residents and then installed 50 rain gardens and 100 rain barrels on the selected
residential sites. This presentation summarizes the methods and results of both the site selection
and construction activities to date.
Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Filed under: Stormwater | Tags: Environmental Impact, Reduced Carbon Footprint, Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Sustainable Infrastructure, Water Conservation | No Comments »