Stormwater Symposium


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.

John Komlos, Jr.

Assistant Professor
Villanova University

Dr. John Komlos is an Assistant Professor with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Villanova University. His research examines the fate and transport of contaminants in natural and engineered systems with an emphasis on biogeochemistry. His current research focus is on subsurface metals and nutrient retention mechanisms as they pertain to pollutant removal from stormwater control measures (SCMs).


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Sergio Carvajal-Sanchez

Villanova University


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Andrea Welker, PhD, PE

Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Villanova University
Villanova University

Andrea L. Welker, PhD, PE is a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Villanova University. She joined Villanova’s faculty after earning her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Pennsylvania. Most of Dr. Welker’s research focuses on studying the geotechnical aspects of stormwater control measures (SCMs) including rain gardens and permeable pavements. Dr. Welker is currently part of a multi-state, multi-year effort supported by the William Penn Foundation to ensure plentiful, clean water in the Delaware River Watershed. She is active in the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is the Senior Director of the Civil Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.


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394163 - Impact of a Rain Garden on the Headwaters of Jenkintown Creek

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