Engineered Stormwater Management for Low-Income Urban Communities

EPA Grant Number: SU831830
Title: Engineered Stormwater Management for Low-Income Urban Communities
Investigators: Obropta, Christopher , O'Neill, Karen , Rusciano, Gregory , Woland, Jake
Current Investigators: Obropta, Christopher , Avery, Mike , Berry, David , Bhandari, Karan , Donnelly, John , O'Neill, Karen , Rusciano, Gregory , Villere, Medea , Yates, Kristine
Institution: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability , Nanotechnology


This project addresses issues related to water quality and quantity in New Jersey’s urbanized watersheds and targets the need for improved environmental quality as a form of prosperity for the people in low-income urban communities.


The primary goal of the project is to design a comprehensive blueprint for working with issues related to stormwater management on a community/grassroots level that will target pressing concerns in the realm of water quality and quantity improvement. In this case, designs will be applied to locations that are traditionally not considered ideal candidates for such improvements because of their urban setting. Water quantity and quality will be improved by designing and implementing accepted stormwater management techniques, namely engineered stormwater best management practices (BMPs), in an effort to meet New Jersey’s Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES), Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Stormwater Management Rule requirements. More specifically, this project will design a community process for addressing stormwater management practices in a low-income urban community to reduce NPS pollution by transforming vacant lots into socially beneficial open spaces.


Designs for engineered BMPs will be created for specific sites within an urban community identified through coordination with the participating community organization. The basic idea is to prevent pollutants from entering the existing stormwater system (and ultimately, receiving water bodies), to retain pollutants where they can be more easily managed, and to increase infiltration and detention to reduce peak stormwater flows. Engineering and landscape architecture students from Rutgers University will interact with community members from the very beginning of the design process to envision the scope of the design problem together. The design plan will be developed by the students under the direction of Rutgers faculty and a teaching assistant. The project will partner with stakeholders at Rutgers, non-governmental organizations, and local government.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, drinking water, groundwater, land, sediments, precipitation, adsorption, health effects, ecological effects, race, ethnic groups, chemicals, pollution prevention, treatment, pathogens, viruses, effluent, discharge, restoration, bioremediation, public policy, public good, sustainable development, socioeconomic, engineering, social science, ecology, monitoring, surveys, measurement methods, remote sensing, northeast, Atlantic coast, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, Water & Watershed, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, Watersheds, TMDL, total maximum daily loads, stormwater drainage, stormwater treatment, low income urban communities, engineering, urbanizing watersheds, best management practices, watershed assessment, stormwater management

Relevant Websites:

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report