Detention Outlet Retrofit Improves the Functionality of Existing Detention Basins by Reducing Erosive Flows in Receiving Channels
Hawley, R., J. Goodrich, N. Korth, C. Rust, E. Fet, C. Frye, K. MacMannis, M. Wooten, M. Jacobs, AND R. Sinha. Detention Outlet Retrofit Improves the Functionality of Existing Detention Basins by Reducing Erosive Flows in Receiving Channels. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION. American Water Resources Association, Middleburg, VA, , 1-16, (2017).
By discharging excess stormwater at rates that more frequently exceed the critical flow for stream erosion, conventional detention basins often contribute to increased channel instability in urban and suburban systems that can be detrimental to aquatic habitat and water quality, as well as adjacent property and infrastructure. However, these ubiquitous assets, valued at approximately $600,000 per km2 in a representative suburban watershed, are ideal candidates to aid in reversing such cycles of channel degradation because improving their functionality would not necessarily require property acquisition or heavy construction. The objective of this research was to develop a simple, cost-effective device that could be installed in detention basin outlets to reduce the erosive power of the relatively frequent storm events (~ < two-year recurrence) and provide a passive bypass to maintain flood control performance during infrequent storms (such as the 100-year recurrence). Results from a pilot installation show that the Detain H2O device reduced the cumulative sediment transport capacity of the preretrofit condition by greater than 40%, and contributed to reduced flashiness and prolonged baseflows in receiving streams. When scaling the strategy across a watershed, these results suggest that potential gains in water quality and stream channel stability could be achieved at costs that are orders of magnitude less than comparable benefits from newly constructed stormwater control measures.