EPA Science Inventory

Phosphorous Attenuation in Urban Best Management (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID) Practices

Citation:

Schechter, S. AND P. Mayer. Phosphorous Attenuation in Urban Best Management (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID) Practices. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-13/208, 2014.

Description:

While all living organisms require phosphorous (P) to live and grow, adding too much P to the environment can cause unintended and undesirable effects, such as eutrophication of surface waters and harmful algal blooms. Urban best management (BMP) and low impact development (LID) practices are often employed to improve water quality because of their ability to process and remove excess anthropogenic phosphorous from surface and ground waters. Urban BMP’s and LID’s are land development approaches that attempt to mimic natural systems. The efficiency of BMP’s and LID’s to remove P is not clearly understood because data that generalizes patterns of P removal across ecosystems and environmental conditions are not well synthesized. Here, we compile results from existing scientific literature to synthesize data about the capacity of various BMP’s and LID’s to attenuate P. We identify patterns that are intended to inform resource managers about the most effective approaches for managing P. We found that P removal varies greatly among BMP and local conditions such as soil type. Bioretention features are among the most efficient P removal approaches while filters are far less effective…. We also describe the state of existing regulations for implementing BMP’s or LID’s in the context of managing water quality, comparing regulations across States and Federal Code.

Purpose/Objective:

The goal of this report is to synthesize the existing scientific literature on the effectiveness of urban best management (BMP) and low impact development (LID) practices to improve water quality through their ability to process and remove excess anthropogenic phosphorous from surface and ground waters. Despite significant research effort toward understanding the ecological functions of BMP’s and LID’s, there remains no consensus for what constitutes optimal design achieve maximum P removal effectiveness. The objective/impact of this report to identify patterns and trends from published literature that will aid managers in making decisions about implementing BMP’s and LID’s for P management as part of comprehensive watershed management plans.

URLs/Downloads:

http://nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P100JDOT.pdf

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Start Date: 06/24/2014
Completion Date: 06/24/2014
Record Last Revised: 07/08/2014
Record Created: 07/01/2014
Record Released: 07/01/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 279905

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

GROUND WATER AND ECOSYSTEMS RESTORATION DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM & SUBSURFACE PROTECTION BRANCH