American Water Resources Association

Student Poster Presentations

08 May 2019

Comparison of different filter media materials for PAHs removal from urban stormwater runoff using Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Narges Esfandiar, Erica McKenzie, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Abstract:  Urban storm water runoff is often containing potentially harmful contaminants washed from roadways, parking lots, and open spaces, with the subsequent discharge into surface water, such as lakes, posing potential adverse effects on public health and the environment. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are persistent hydrocarbon micropollutants that are mostly released from incomplete combustion of fuels and are considered carcinogens and hepatotoxs which can result in DNA damage and accumulation in lipid tissues of living organisms. Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is increasingly being employed as a stormwater management tool in urban areas, with the intent of using infiltration to address both water quantity and quality concerns. However, GSI media have limited sorption capacity, so amendments may be required to enhance pollutant removal. In this study, batch experiments were conducted to investigate the ability of green adsorbent materials, such as biochar (BC), iron amended biochar (IBC), and scrap tire (ST) as amendments to GSI media, for the removal of PAHs (naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene and acenaphthylene) from stormwater. The results showed that the adsorption isotherms of PAHs were well-fit by both Langmuir and Freundlich models, and that all BC, IBC and ST had good removal efficiencies of all selected PAHs (e.g. greater than 90%). However, compared with BC, IBC and ST had higher adsorption capacities for all selected PAHs, which is likely due to a comparatively larger surface area and greater diversity of functional groups. The adsorption mechanism of BC, IBC and ST was mainly attributed to the action of surface functional groups and π–π-conjugated reactions. Based on previously published studies, it is believed that the adsorption of PAHs on IBC mainly occurred in the functional groups of C–O and Fe3O4, but that on BC and ST occurred mainly in the functional groups of –OH, C=C and C–O. Overall, this study demonstrates that the selected filter media have great potential to remove PAHs from urban stormwater runoff. This is in line with literature review showing that biochar has good removal capacity and extends the results of previous studies to include more sorbents and more PAH analytes.

10 April 2019

Using Temperature to Evaluate Brown Trout Survivability in Impacted Headwater Streams

James Kugel, Andrea Welker, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Stanley Kemp, University of Baltimore, MD

Abstract: The headwaters of the Chrome Run, located in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania, was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) as impacted by urban runoff and storm sewers. The pollution and intense stormflows have reduced the quality of the water and habitat of the stream. A development within the watershed is currently retrofitting an existing asphalt parking lot with porous asphalt and an associated below grade filtration system. Once online, the new stormwater control measure (SCM) will improve the water quality of the runoff by reducing the temperature and removing pollutants. This poster presents stream temperature data study used to identify thermal pollution within the Chrome Run. This study utilized field data collected by Villanova University. While headwater streams can experience daily temperature variation, the Chrome Run was observed to experience unhealthy temperature spikes during storms. 

13 February 2019

Unraveling flood inundation and morphodynamics in the backwater:

  A case study of Darby Creek, PA

Hossein Hosseiny, Richard Ampomah, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract: The majority of the world’s population resides within 50 km of a coast, where expanding large coastal population hubs, often located near the mouths of rivers, make fluvial morphodymics in the backwater increasingly critical.  To deepen our understanding of these systems and flood inundation dynamics due to morphological alterations, we have developed an integrative iterative fluvial morphological model for backwater conditions.The model uses a combination of International River Interface Cooperative (iRIC) software, a water surface profile model, and a 2D model for shear stresses and morphological alterations, and represents the disparate hydraulics of the backwater, quasi-normal and transitional flows. The integrated models generate a new digital elevation model of the study area based on the modeled morphological alteration, which severs as the starting point for the next iteration of flow, ultimately modeling geomorphic changes (or the gradient of change) through time. This model is applied to Darby Creek in Metro-Philadelphia, PA, one of the most flood-prone urban areas in the US. The model was ran for this study area using a range of discharges and sediment fluxes. The simulations were tested against LiDARsurveys and Landsatimages.  Unraveling urban backwater dynamics has the potential to contribute to flood planning and mitigation, infrastructure sustainability, and protecting the coastal environment.

12 Sep 2018

Impact of Morphology on GSI Infiltration

Richard Ampomah, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract:  The role of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) has become increasingly important in hydrologic and water quality control solutions for municipalities and watershed planners. Although the effectiveness of these systems in addressing event-based hydrologic occurrences has been widely studied, relatively little is known about the long-term viability of GSI, particularly in regards to sediment flux. This study analyzes the impact of morphological changes on the performance of such systems through time. A quasi-2D morphodynamic model was used to predict morphological changes in a rain garden located in Philadelphia, PA, and then relate these changes to the GSI performance based on field infiltration test results. A continuous quasi-2D morphodynamic model was created in the International River Interface Cooperative (iRIC) software using high-resolution LiDAR elevation data and a continuous record of storm water inflow data for the rain garden. A spatial analysis of morphological changes was performed by combining the model and field results to determine a relationship between morphological changes and measured infiltration rates in the GSI over time. The findings of this study are an important contribution to understanding potential changes in the long-term rain garden performance due to GSI morphology and sediment flux. This study presents a critical starting point for quantitatively predicting lifespan and maintenance requirements for GSI, while also shedding light on the role of sediment flux on the overall sustainability of GSI, optimizing GSI design to reduce the impact of morphological changes on performance, and the impact of GSI features the larger watershed.

9 May 2018

spICP-MS to investigate the Impacts of NOM on the Formation and Growth of Zn colloids in Wetland Sediments

Adrienne Donaghue, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Abstract:  Naturally occurring colloids (size < 100 nm), or nanoparticles (NPs), are ubiquitous in the environment. In aquatic settings, metal colloids are the first formation products during the early stages of precipitation and play an important role in the transport and bioavailability of many toxic metals (e.g., Cd, Pb, and Zn). This study employs single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) to investigate the effects of natural organic matter (NOM) on the formation, growth, and aggregation of ZnS colloids under conditions representative of wetland sediments. Ongoing method development components of this study include analysis of a reference material and confirmation that nucleation events can be detected. At present, efforts are focused on identifying experimental and data processing methods to separate dissolved and colloidal metal species—an important first step to determining colloid concentrations. Zinc oxide (ZnO) precipitation experiments were preformed to (1) develop experimental methods for distinguishing dissolved and ZnO colloid species and (2) verify capabilities of spICP-MS to simultaneously measure dissolved and colloid concentrations. Results from spICP-MS show distinction among ZnO colloid size and particle populations over time. Future work will investigate the effects of organic ligands on Zn sulfide (ZnS) colloid formation. Demonstrated success of spICP-MS for studying metal colloid formation at environmentally relevant conditions provides a valuable analytical tool for understanding the fate of metal colloids in the environment.

11 April 2018

The Effect of Urban Runoff on Stream Bank Erosion

James Kugel, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract: Villanova University is currently monitoring the Chrome Run and three additional streams located within the Delaware River watershed to assess the impact of updated stormwater control measures that will be constructed on stream health. The Granite Run Mall is located on 58 acres at the Chrome Run headwaters. The mall site is nearly 100% impervious cover and was designed in accordance with the stormwater regulations of the 1970s. The site is currently being redeveloped into the Promenade at Granite Run which presents a unique opportunity to examine the effectiveness of the associated updated stormwater management practices. Villanova is currently performing a robust Before-After-Control-Impact study to determine if the damage sustained by the receiving waters can be reversed by implementing modern-day stormwater controls. As part of this study, Villanova is using erosion pins to measure changes in the stream channel over time. This poster will present preliminary stream bank erosion data and its relationship to stream hydraulics.

Fate and Transport of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in a Stormwater Management Practice (SMP)

Ali Behbahani, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Abstract: Bioswales or rain gardens are a class of vegetated Stormwater Management Practices (SMPs) that are widely used to control urban stormwater runoff, and through infiltration, promote improvements for both water quality and quantity perspectives. In 2016, vegetated SMPs were constructed adjacent to a section of I-95 to manage the stormwater runoff from the highway; ongoing research efforts include collection and analysis of stormwater runoff, subsurface pore water, groundwater, soil, and plants tissue, where analyses include metals, nutrients, and solids. Potentially toxic elements (PTE) are important in urban stormwater studies due to their high bioavailability and toxicity. Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrum (ICP-MS) was used to measure the PTEs concentration on different type of samples as the focal part of this research. High priority metals (Fe, Cr, Co, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, and Pb) showed a positive correlation with suspended solids (SS), potentially due to sorption to the particle surface. Analysis of lysimeter sample confirm that, for some PTEs, the concentration decreases associated with soil depth which is likely due to PTE sorption to the SMP media. At present, the highway runoff has been observed to exceed aquatic life criteria in some cases, but lysimeter samples concentrations have been below the criteria. Data collected under this project will allow for the identification of PTEs that pose a greater threat and to estimate the effective lifespan of the soil. Geo-Accumulation Index (Igeo) was computed and will be used as the criteria to determine lifespan of the soil.

14 March 2018

Delaware River Watershed Initiative: Pennypack Creek, Horsham, PA

Wessam Mohammed, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract: Uncontrolled stormwater is the major cause of stream degradation in developed areas. Stormwater control measures (SCMs) seek to control stormwater by mimicking natural processes to restore the hydrologic cycle that was disrupted by development. A three-celled rain garden/wetland system was constructed to improve the water quality and control the quantity of water entering the headwaters of the Pennypack Creek. This feature was constructed on the College Settlement Camp Site in Horsham, PA. This SCM is designed to manage a 2-inch storm from a 55-acre drainage area with 26% impervious area and 1.3% surface slope. As part of their work with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), Villanova University is monitoring the effectiveness of this SCM. The site is instrumented with a weather station, bubblers to measure the basins’ water level, and a weir to measure outflow. A Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) model has been calibrated to the measured outflows to estimate the inflows since measuring the inflow to this SCM is difficult because there are multiple sources. A combination of grab samples and composite samples are collected from the basins, outflow, and downstream pond during the dry and storm events. These samples are analyzed for total suspended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS), nitrogen, and phosphorus. Preliminary results indicate that the SCM is retaining 58% of the flow volume.  In addition, a significant reduction in TSS and Nitrite concentrations was observed during dry times.

14 February 2018

Modeling hydrology into and around Green Infrastructure using GIS

Humaira Jahangiri, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract: The objective of the proposed research is to model volume reduction green infrastructure (GI) practices at a very fine scale. GI are a solution to highly urbanized communities, allowing them to reduce stormwater flow volumes and mitigate pollutants. This research models stormwater drainage networks (containing traditional and GI stormwater systems). This allows for hydrologic comparison between GI and stormwater infrastructure with hard designs. The modeling is done in ArcGIS, a geospatial data model used for delineating the flow accumulation lines and urban catchments using the Spatial Analyst tool. The input data for this model is a uniquely fine scale. The digital elevation model (DEM) was produced using LiDAR. The preprocessing of DEM to delineate watersheds was accomplished using the different ArcHydro tools. The water is forced to drain by altering the DEM to represent green infrastructure, buildings, gutters and inlets. Precipitation data collected onsite by Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) is being used model a range of different storms to the GI capture, function and response. The model will be tested against other hydrologic parameters collected by VUSP at the study site; such stormwater pipe flow data. The gained understanding of the role of GI in a stormwater network from this project will contribute to improved stormwater management - helping to mitigate floods and improve downstream urban water quality.

8 November 2017

Rain Gardens, Runoff and Resilience: Creating the Next Generation of Stormwater Systems

Cara Melissa Albright, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Abstract: The field of stormwater management has changed dramatically over the last two decades, moving away from a singular vision of flood control and extreme events to that of a more sustainable view of combining runoff quality and quantity and designing across a range of events. As part of this shift, we have moved from detention basins and conveyances to incorporating green infrastructure (GI) in the form of wetlands, pervious pavement, tree trenches, green roofs and rain gardens. While progress has been made, our knowledge of the performance of GI is still evolving. Part of this research is to develop a more holistic approach to design and implementation, which would consider hydrologic, geotechnical, environmental and economic constraints. Additionally, we are focused on utilizing both the infiltration and evapotranspiration (ET) capabilities of GI, depending on the goals and needs of a specific location. We are learning that our current practices underestimate GI performance on a volume capture basis, and fail to optimize the full capabilities of GI with respect to urban hydrology. Two bioinfiltration rain garden hydraulically connected in series, have been instrumented to assess current GI design performance and make recommendations for the next generation of GI systems. These rain gardens run parallel to Girard Avenue in the right-of-way near the Philadelphia Zoo. The site was initially instrumented in 2013 by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to monitor water level. Working with PWD, Villanova further instrumented the site in 2015 to include meteorological measurements, soil moisture sensors, and more extensive water level monitoring. Results from the initial period of monitoring clearly show that these sites outperform expectations, confirming earlier studies at Villanova University and in Philadelphia. Research continues, with the goal of enhancing our understanding of urban hydrologic processes to drive the next generation of designs. This work will include comparing site performance to models of surface and vadose zone hydrology. Our research clearly shows that in order to take advantage of the full potential of GI, we must treat it as a system that integrates climate and surroundings in our designs. Doing so will allow us to set and achieve benchmarks that will maximize the potential of GI and integrate it with broader concepts such as risk, resilience and sustainable communities.

18 October 2017

Flood Management Nature-Based Solutions for Kampen, The Netherlands

Megan Cullison and Iman Elkhashab, Widener University, Chester, PA

Abstract: The city of Kampen in the Netherlands is struggling to combat flooding issues in the low-income neighborhood of Brunnepe. There is a necessity for the solutions to be nature-based, or “green” and be able to create community investment. Cost and practicality is also considered while researching. Site selection was done using resources provided by the City of Kampen, and was based off of storm water accumulation GIS. Large scale projects recommended were a Bio-swale playground and water retention pond. Smaller scale recommendations were a community garden, rain barrels, and flow through planters

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software