Physico-Chemical Assessment for Treatment of Storm Water From Impervious Urban Watersheds Typical of the Gulf Coast

EPA Grant Number: R827933C019
Subproject: this is subproject number 019 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825427
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Urban Waste Management and Research Center (University New Orleans)
Center Director: McManis, Kenneth
Title: Physico-Chemical Assessment for Treatment of Storm Water From Impervious Urban Watersheds Typical of the Gulf Coast
Investigators: Sansalone, John , Cartledge, Frank K. , Tittlebaum, Marty
Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge , University of New Orleans
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2002
RFA: Urban Waste Management & Research Center (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research


There are three objectives of the research project. The first objective will focus on an understanding of unit operations and processes that can provide effective storm water treatment based on the physico-chemical characteristics of urban storm water. For example, under conditions of low residence time, low runoff pH and low alkalinity, heavy metals in storm water can be mainly dissolved. Such characteristics suggest a unit process such as adsorption or surface complexation either onto a fixed media surface or partitioning to solids that are subsequently clarified or filtered. On the other hand, higher pH values suggest partitioning to the particulate phase where unit operations such as filtration can be used directly. This understanding will provide evaluation of the technical viability of treatment train-type unit operations and processes and the potential for effective combination of such operations and processes into a single or compact design. Specifically, based on the experience of the Principal Investigators, operations and processes most likely to demonstrate viability are combinations of Type I and II clarification, mechanisms of filtration (Metcalf and Eddy, 1991), and surface complexation mechanisms that can range from sorption to precipitation (Stumm, 1992). Viability will be dependent on flow and entrained solid/suspended matter parameters, and runoff residence time on the catchment. Within the best management practice (BMP), operating parameters that influence effectiveness include pH, redox, alkalinity as well as BMP design based on operation/process selection for targeted constituents.

The second objective requires an understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics of storm water runoff. Characterization will be conducted at both experimental sites, the existing site in Baton Rouge (I-10 over City Park Lake) and at an elevated transportation corridor in metropolitan New Orleans. Both sites will be utilized for characterization of loadings, traffic and heavy metal partitioning, solids characteristics, and suspended matter behavior. This objective will include field data collection that includes site hydrology, local climate conditions, and field water quality measurements (pH, redox, temperature and turbidity) across a range of discrete events. In the laboratory, objectives will include measurement of water quality parameters not measured in the field, including dissolved and particulate-bound heavy metals, alkalinity, COD, TSS/VSS, TDS/VDS, residuals gradations, surface and chemical characteristics. A major component of this objective is assessment of residuals to determine potential treatment as a hazardous waste. The specific techniques to be employed for this assessment are metals concentration/mass analysis (through leach-ability, microwave digestion and ICP-MS), metal distribution (x-ray microtomography), and metal speciation by x-ray absorption spectroscopy (EXAFS, XANES).

The final objective will require design of a BMP. BMP design will be based on the synthesis of viability for operation and process mechanisms combined with the fundamental physico-chemical characteristics of storm water. For the third objective, understanding from Objectives 1 and 2 will be applied to evaluation of an experimental BMP (a sorptive floating bead clarifier, SFBC) designed for elevated infrastructure typical of the Gulf Coast region. The SFBC will be installed and loaded by storm water generated from the overhead I-10 pavement catchment over City Park Lake at the urban Baton Rouge site. Specifically, this objective will focus on development of a field-operated SFBC to provide synthesis of required unit operations and processes applied for both the dissolved and entrained particulate phases of storm water. Data, results, and interpretation gained from this objective will allow the modification and eventual refinement of a SFBC as a control measure BMP for elevated urban and transportation infrastructure. In the field, this objective will consist of field measurements including loading and performance characteristics of the SFBC such as flow and head loss measurements, influent and effluent turbidity, pH and redox conditions in the SFBC, representative sampling of influent and effluent of the SFBC, and residuals accumulation within the SFBC. In the laboratory, this objective will consist of measurement of influent and effluent water quality parameters not measured in the field including dissolved and particulate-bound heavy metals, alkalinity, TSS/VSS, and TDS/VDS.

Three SFBCs will be installed at the Baton Rouge site. One will be an experimental SFBC, one will be a control SFBC, and one will be a sacrificial SFBC. The experimental and control SFBC will be backwashed after each captured event to assess differences in experimental modifications, assess mass balances and restore any loss in hydraulic and residual storage capacity after each event. The sacrificial SFBC will be loaded across each captured event along with the experimental and control SFBCs without backwashing or residuals withdrawal, until failure occurs. Failure criteria will include solids breakthrough, dissolved constituent breakthrough, loss of hydraulic capacity due to head loss buildup, or exhaustion of residuals storage capacity. SFBC development, refinement, and eventually viability will be an iterative process. Therefore, SFBCs will be designed and installed at the Baton Rouge experimental site within the first year of the research effort.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 13 publications for this subprojectView all 55 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 2 journal articles for this subprojectView all 7 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

clarification, flocculation, power law, speciation, partitioning, total maximum daily loads., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ground Water, Hydrology, Water & Watershed, Municipal, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Wet Weather Flows, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Water Pollution Control, Watersheds, pathogens, wastewater treatment, industrial wastestream, contaminant transport, industrial waste, runoff, nutrients, urban watersheds, physico-chemical assessment, industrial chemicals, municipal waste, detection system, cross-connected waste, wastewater management, microbial pollution, stormwater, detecting disharges, stormwater treatment, non-point sources, waste management, water quality, heavy metal contamination, storm drainage, stormwater runoff, watershed assessment, storm drainage systems, heavy metals, organic contaminants

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825427    Urban Waste Management and Research Center (University New Orleans)

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