Testing the (Storm) Waters: Techniques for Surface Reclamation on Urban Brownfields

EPA Grant Number: SU835700
Title: Testing the (Storm) Waters: Techniques for Surface Reclamation on Urban Brownfields
Investigators: Coffman, Reid , Jefferson, Anne , Blackwood, Chris , Liu, Rui
Institution: Kent State University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $14,685
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


Contemporary stormwater practices requiring infiltration are conflicting with pollution abatement strategies commonly employed on post-industrial lands. The conflict is delaying urban land recovery while increasing the risk of broader contamination. Because green infrastructure tool-kits emphasize infiltration and permanence and industrial sites require dewatered conditions where property can be reactive to market driven demands, new solutions that are temporary, flexible and affordable are required. To solve this dilemma, we investigate the hydrological retention capabilities of perched and on-grade ecologically-oriented infrastructure relying on hydrologic retention time, mass storage and evapotransporation. By emphasizing site material recycle and soil microbiological processes these solutions can provide a broader application of stormwater infrastructure in the urban core and enable secondary ecosystem service provisioning for cities.


The project will illuminate the issues of brownfield stormwater control by conceptualizing, visualizing and evaluating an array of treatment strategies that can intercept rainfall, increase retention time, and utilize soil moisture (interflow) to the reduce runoff. These strategies will help stabilize blighted urban lands, facilitate recovery in disadvantaged neighborhoods and protect the regional environmental assets of groundwater and receiving streams and lakes. The investigation will educate students, land holders, and community members about stormwater pollution prevention, material recycle, and biological function.

Expected Results:

The design activity will provide a set of novel techniques for infiltration limited areas emphasizing hydrologic retention time, mass storage, evapotransporative processes, and material reuse and recycle. The techniques will be developed through high quality visually instructive four-dimensional (horizontal, vertical, volumetric and temporal) architectural modeling software of Rhino, Grasshopper, and AutoCad. Each technique will contain ecological performance values and be conceptualized to contribute to a kit-of-parts approach. They will be developed using performance models (e.g. EPA’s storm water calculator) and evaluated externally by regional and national professional specialist in brownfield and stormwater agencies for precision, accuracy and applicability.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainable water management, brownfields, stormwater management, recycled construction materials, green landscaping, urban reclamation, bioremediation, mycofiltration, life cycle cost analysis, life cycle assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report