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Update on Kansas City Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure Pilot Project
Simon, M., D. Bambic, J. Wright, D. O'Bannon, AND R. Pitt. Update on Kansas City Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure Pilot Project. Presented at EWRI-ASC, Portland, OR, June 01 - 05, 2014.
This is a general technical presentation.
In 2010, Kansas City, MO (KCMO) signed a consent degree with EPA on combined sewer overflows. The City decided to use adaptive management in order to extensively utilize green infrastructure (GI) in lieu of, and in addition to, gray structural controls. KCMO installed 130 GI storm control units (SCMs) —primarily bioretention units—in a hundred acre-pilot; one of the largest retrofitted areas in the United States. USEPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) partnered with KCMO to conduct extensive monitoring to quantify the performance of the pilot area. The study focuses on the long term monitoring efforts to quantify GI performance at two scales: site scale (individual SCMs) and pilot (100 acre) scale. Site-scale elements of the GI project included stormwater monitoring systems at eight individual SCMs (rain gardens, bioretention cells, and smart drains) in the pilot area. Parameters measured by deployed monitoring systems included inflow, infiltrated volume, bypassed flow, and drawdown times. In addition, a subset of SCMs is being monitored for water quality (loading reduction) parameters including particle size, bacteria, nutrients, and metals. At the pilot-scale, flow monitoring systems were deployed at four locations to measure flow rate, depth, and velocity in the combined sewer systems. The large-scale study design included a matched “control” area with similar hydrology to compare sewershed flowrates with the GI pilot flow rates under identical meterological conditions. EPA collected sewershed flow data before and after GI installation, and performed evaluations of land use, soil infiltration, drainage areas, and individual bioretention unit performance. EPA will compare the empirical data to model predicted results. The fact that these data are representative of both site- and pilot-scales makes the findings relevant to wide variety of participants, including stormwater, regulatory, academic, and non-governmental organizations.