Bioswales: Performance

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Starting after TRIECA (end March) members of STEPSustainable Technologies Evaluation Program will be undertaking a literature review on the performance of our most popular BMPs. The results will be combined with the information we have to date from the development of the Treatment Train Tool and agreed performance metrics established. Until then, please feel free to continue to ask questions via email or the feedback box below.

While few field studies of the pollutant removal capacity of bioswalesLinear bioretention cell designed to convey, treat and attenuate stormwater runoff. The engineered filter media soil mixture and vegetation slows the runoff water to allow sedimentation, filtration through the root zone, evapotranspiration, and infiltration into the underlying native soil. are available from cold climate regions like Ontario, it can be assumed that they would perform similar to bioretention cells. BioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. provides effective removal for many pollutants as a result of sedimentationDeposition of material of varying size, both mineral and organic away from its site of origin by the action of water, wind, gravity or ice.Settling-out or deposition of particulate matter suspended in runoff., filtering, plant uptake, soil adsorptionThe attachment of gas, vapour or dissolved matter onto the surface of solid materials., and microbial processes. It is important to note that there is a relationship between the water balanceThe accounting of inflow and outflow of water in a system according to the components of the hydrologic cycle. and water quality functions. If a bioswaleLinear bioretention cell designed to convey, treat and attenuate stormwater runoff. The engineered filter media soil mixture and vegetation slows the runoff water to allow sedimentation, filtration through the root zone, evapotranspiration, and infiltration into the underlying native soil. infiltrates and evaporates 100% of the flow from a site, then there is essentially no pollution leaving the site in surface runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface.. Furthermore, treatment of infiltrated runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. will continue to occur as it moves through the native soils.

Design Location RunoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. reduction
No underdrainA perforated pipe used to assist the draining of soils. Washington[1] >98 %
No underdrainA perforated pipe used to assist the draining of soils. United Kingdom >94 %
With underdrainA perforated pipe used to assist the draining of soils. Maryland[2] 46 - 54 %
RunoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. reduction estimate 85 %
  1. Horner RR, Lim H, Burges SJ. HYDROLOGIC MONITORING OF THE SEATTLE ULTRA-URBAN STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROJECTS: SUMMARY OF THE 2000-2003 WATER YEARS. Seattle; 2004. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.365.8665&rep=rep1&type=pdf. Accessed August 11, 2017.
  2. https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/p-gen3-14g.pdf