Water Quality and Hydrologic Performance of Stormwater Control Berms. Part of the Indiana University RAIN (Restorative Adaptations for Infrastructure) Initiative

EPA Grant Number: SU835714
Title: Water Quality and Hydrologic Performance of Stormwater Control Berms. Part of the Indiana University RAIN (Restorative Adaptations for Infrastructure) Initiative
Investigators: Clark, Melissa , Reynolds, Heather , Clay, Keith
Current Investigators: Clark, Melissa , Hodge, Alexandra , Lovell, Lori , Saywitz, Robin , Powers, Sarah , Drews, Willem
Institution: Indiana University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $14,396
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 - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


As the focus of stormwater management shifts from water quality and peak flow abatement toward flow-regime management, it is crucial to test low impact design (LID) applications to determine their effectiveness in unconventional settings, in order to expand the use of LID into conventional best management practices (BMPs). In determining site-specific design and performance metrics and cost-effectiveness, field scale performance data is needed to assess the hydrologic function of design elements. The proposed design approaches this challenge through the installation and performance measurements of four “weep” berms and 120 filter berms. Water quality and hydrologic performance of berms will be assessed at 9 sub-drainages in seven distinct sub-watersheds. By evaluating hydrologic performance at site level, we may better predict the impact of designs at the catchment level.


The RAIN Initiative is a student-led effort to engage students in the green infrastructure design process. Since 2012, the group has garnered campus and community support, including a $5,000 grant for the development of design and construction plans for pilot berms on the IU Championship Golf Course. The student group has collected preliminary data for water quality parameters and runoff flow since June 2013. In order to carry out green infrastructure plans on a larger scale and measure the performance of these designs, the RAIN Initiative requires funding for the installation of two additional weep berms, 120 filter berms, and materials to conduct research on performance parameters post-construction. Studies in green infrastructure allow students to consider their immediate environment as an ecosystem. By evaluating long-term ecological performance of designs, students will ensure community prosperity by creating cost-effective, long-term solutions to natural resource problems. Students will be involved in data collection, berm vegetation, and monitoring. The RAIN Initiative group has developed a strategic plan to delineate a process for future green infrastructure projects on campus, improving local capacity for implementing such designs.

Expected Results:

By August, 2015, the project will result in the construction of a comprehensive stormwater runoff mitigation plan for the IU Championship Golf Course. Students will have evaluated water quality and hydrologic performance of two berm types in seven sub-watersheds. Lab analysis and flow data will be reported in 1) monthly lab reports, 2) an online stormwater research portfolio, and 3) a final report which evaluates the overall efficacy of each berm type.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Urban water planning, stormwater management, low impact development (LID), berms, BMP design, watershed, water filtration, water quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report