394163 - Impact of a Rain Garden on the Headwaters of Jenkintown Creek
Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway AB
As the use of stormwater control measures (SCMs) becomes more widespread to control stormwater runoff volume and improve stormwater quality, research is needed to link the performance of multiple SCMs to the watersheds where they are located. The research presented herein involves monitoring an impaired waterway (Jenkintown Creek, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed, southeast Pennsylvania) before and after the installation of a rain garden at its headwaters. This rain garden joins a series of interventions including a bioretention basin, riparian buffers, and another rain garden downstream, to improve the creek's water quality. The goal of this study was to determine 1) how the water quality in the rain garden compared to that downstream and 2) what effect the rain garden had on the quality of the water downstream of the site.
The rain garden was constructed in November 2015 and planted April 2016. Prior to the installation of the rain garden, stormflow and baseflow sampling indicated that average concentrations for both total nitrogen and total phosphorus were above concentrations that have been shown to cause eutrophic conditions. Comparison of average nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations indicate that the creek is phosphorus limited (and thus removal of phosphorus would correlate with an increase in water quality with respect to eutrophication). Results indicate that the rain garden had a positive effect on Jenkintown Creek water quality with respect to nitrate (both baseflow and storm conditions) and phosphate (just baseflow conditions). An in-depth analysis of the rain garden performance over time for nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite, TKN) and phosphorus (total P and phosphate), as well as other water quality parameters (chloride, TDS, TSS, conductivity, pH), will be discussed.