Feasibility of integrating natural and constructed wetlands in roadway drainage system design.
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Feasibility of integrating natural and constructed wetlands in roadway drainage system design.

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  • Abstract:
    "Stormwater from roadways could have negative effects on the environment and aquatic ecosystems. Typical highway

    runoff pollutants include solids; heavy metals, particularly cadmium, copper, and zinc; petroleum hydrocarbons; gasoline

    constituents; PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons); oxygen demanding compounds measured as COD (chemical oxygen

    demand) and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand); and road salts. Roadway runoff falls under the legislation of the Clean

    Water Act (CWA) via the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). CWA regulates discharge of

    nonpoint source pollutants, such as roadway runoff, by issuing permits to public entities which manage Municipal Separate

    Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). The objectives of volume I of this research were to characterize the pollutants in roadway

    runoff and determine the effectiveness of the existing stormwater BMPs at the study site. To accomplish these objectives,

    eleven rainfall events were sampled from November 2008 through November 2010. The objective of volume II was to

    fulfill the NDOR permitting requirement of creating a design guide for BMPs to remediate roadway runoff in Nebraska.

    BMPs which were most applicable to treating roadway runoff were those which removed 80% of the total solid load in the

    runoff, reduced metal concentrations to below acute toxicity levels, had low maintenance burden, were cost effective, did

    not pose a safety hazard to motorists, could be implemented within the right-of-way, did not negatively impact the road

    subgrade, and were aesthetically pleasing. The BMPs which best fit these criteria were vegetated filter strips, vegetated

    swales, bioretention, sand filters, and horizontal filter trenches. In this study fact sheets and design guides were compiled

    for each of these BMPs. The fact sheet provides background on the BMP including cost considerations, siting constraints,

    and predicted maintenance requirements. The design guide provides the process for sizing the BMP, design criteria the

    BMP must meet, and a design example which goes through the design process for a hypothetical application."

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