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Designing Bioretention Systems to Improve Nitrogen Removal - poster
Gilchrist, S., E. Stander, AND M. Borst. Designing Bioretention Systems to Improve Nitrogen Removal - poster. Presented at Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR, August 05 - 10, 2012.
This poster described the results of mesocosm experiments conducted at the Edison Environmental Center examining the affect of rain garden design parameters on the nitrogen mass removal. Introduction of a an anoxic zone, wood chips as a carbon source, and hydralic loading are studied.
Rain gardens, also referred to as bioretention systems, are designed primarily to infiltrate stormwater flow and reduce surface runoff and peak flows to receiving streams. Additionally, they are known to remove stressors from urban stormwater runoff, including oil and grease, phosphorus, and heavy metals (Dietz 2007). However, removal efficiencies for nitrogen, and particularly nitrate, are more variable (Collins et al. 2010). Rain gardens are typically designed with sandy soils/engineered media to maximize drainage, but these coarse-grained soils lack the anaerobic conditions and organic matter content necessary to enable nitrate removal by denitrification. The objective of this study was to test different rain garden designs intended to increase nitrate mass removal while also maintaining high volume removal and removal efficiencies of other stressors.