Stormwater Symposium

Oral

394613 - Modeling Performance of an Operational Urban Rain Garden Using HYDRUS-1D

Wednesday, June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Mirage Room
Co-Authors: Andrea Welker, Villanova University – College of Engineering; Robert Traver, Villanova University – College of Engineering; Min-cheng "Peter" Tu, Villanova University – College of Engineering

A rain garden system, constructed in 2012 near the Philadelphia Zoo, consists of two rain gardens connected by a grass swale. This stormwater control measure (SCM), which is owned and maintained by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), has been the focus of an intensive data collection and analysis effort by the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) in collaboration with PWD. One objective of this research is to examine ways of optimizing evapotranspiration (ET) and infiltration by utilizing a mathematical model, namely HYDRUS. This variably-saturated soil model was developed and calibrated to mimic existing system performance using continuous monitoring data and soil characterization. Certain design features were then modified to see the impact on system performance. Results and challenges of this sensitivity analysis will be discussed; however, current calibration and validation efforts indicate that HYDRUS can successfully model these rain garden systems. With a working mathematical model, engineers could simulate a range of rain garden designs without the cost and constraints associated with actually constructing and monitoring them. This research has been supported by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. This research was developed under Assistance Agreement No. RD 83555601-0 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the VUSP. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the VUSP and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication.

Billy Nichols, PE, ENV SP

Graduate Assistant
Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership

Billy is currently enrolled at Villanova in the MS Civil Engineering program, as well as the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership as a research assistant. He possesses four years of consulting engineering experience with Greeley and Hansen LLC, is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Illinois, and is a certified Envision Sustainability Professional. Project experience includes secondary treatment design, nutrient master planning, odor control, consent decree negotiation assistance, hydraulic modeling, GSI monitoring and rain garden modeling.

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