MS4 Management

Poster Presentation

Design, Construction, and Calibration of an Apparatus for Large-Scale Testing of Catch Basin Inserts (CBIs)

Tuesday, February 13
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Level of Presentation: All: Suitable for a broad audience

This poster presentation will cover the design and construction of an apparatus for the large scale testing of catch basin inserts (CBIs), as well as the design of the testing methodology used along side the apparatus to evaluate sediment removal performance of CBIs. The presentation will also cover a calibration and validation process that was used to ensure that data resulting from the apparatus and testing methodology was accurate and consistent.

As stormwater runoff flows over impervious surfaces, it suspends and transports various pollutants from their original location and conveys them into municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) that will eventually discharge into lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. Pollutants of concern include excess fertilizers from agricultural land uses, oils and gas from urban roadways, common trash and debris, and sediment from improperly managed construction and agricultural sites. These contributors harm waterways and are known as nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants, or pollutants that come from many diffuse sources (EPA 2016). Since NPS pollutants threaten our national waterways, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates effluent runoff conveyed by municipalities to ensure that it meets acceptable water quality standards before being discharged back into the surrounding environment. Most municipalities have developed stormwater management guidelines to ensure compliance with these EPA standards, including allowable methods and practices to remove pollutants from stormwater influent flowing into MS4s and prior to discharge.
Catch basin inserts (CBIs) have become an increasingly popular option for pollutant removal from stormwater because they are cost effective and can be manufactured to fit into existing systems for easy installation. However, limited data is available to demonstrate the actual, in-field performance of various CBIs to ensure that these practices meet the pollutant removal standards set forth by the EPA. Previous studies of CBIs have yielded inconsistent results because of the multiple variables that exist in field evaluations. A method of evaluating CBIs in a manner that is both a simulation of field-like conditions, and in a controlled setting is needed to provide realistic, consistent performance data.
This study covers the design, construction, and calibration of an apparatus for large-scale testing of CBIs. The purpose of the testing apparatus is to provide a means of collecting realistic CBI performance data that is used to validate the ability of a product to reduce sediment concentrations to a level consistent with EPA regulations before stormwater runoff enters the MS4. CBIs are tested and evaluated for pollutant removal efficiency and TSS reduction. The apparatus can easily be adapted to perform at different flow rates and sediment concentrations so that it can be used to collect data relevant to any geographical location.
In addition to the construction of the apparatus, a non-proprietary, generic CBI was developed and tested to validate the performance of the testing apparatus. Results and data acquired from the testing of the non-proprietary product serve as an example of the apparatus’ ability to evaluate CBIs in a consistent, repeatable manner to acquire realistic CBI performance data.

Learning Objectives:

Target Audience: Engineer,Storm Water

Dakota L. Basham

Graduate Research Assistant
Auburn University - Department of Civil Engineering

Dakota Basham is a graduate student at Auburn University pursuing a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering. Dakota earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2016. His research involves measuring performance and pollutant removal efficiency of catch basin inserts for the Ohio Department of Transportation and investigating the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems for construction inspection applications.


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Design, Construction, and Calibration of an Apparatus for Large-Scale Testing of Catch Basin Inserts (CBIs)


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