Nutrient Loading, Wet Detention, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Nutrient Removal


Florida is surrounded by water, and its many internal lakes and rivers have long been recognized for their excellent fishing and boating. This notoriety draws land developers to the lake shores to establish residential and commercial infrastructure. This land development brings with it flood plain alteration, water level stabilization, and increased nutrients which cause adverse impacts to our lakes. In response, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972 which set the framework for the water quality standards for the entire United States. As a result of the CWA many point sources were eliminated, but in the process it became apparent that nonpoint source loads represented even more of a threat. To further study the physical and chemical characteristics of urban runoff the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) was established in 1978. This research lead to a series of management options, named Best Management Practices (BMPs) which proposed various structural and non-structural methods to reduce nutrient loads. But the research and data collection on the effectiveness of these systems to remove nutrients is in its infancy. The main objective of this study was to generate accurate and effective water quality and water quantity data that future stormwater management decisions can be based upon. More specific, this study established automatic monitoring sites throughout the City of Kissimmee, Florida to determine the pollutant loadings into the tributaries of Lake Tohopekaliga. These monitoring sites are located such that inflows from outside the city limits can be isolated and external pollutant loads quantified. Also, additional internal monitoring sites were established to determine the pollutant loads of internal sections of the city. Data from these internal monitoring sites will also be used to determine the variable pollutant removal efficiencies and hydraulic fluctuations of natural, irregular riverine systems. The secondary objective of this study was to perform a pilot study using the discrete grab samples in tandem with the continuous hydraulic and hydrologic data from the monitoring stations. An existing lake within the project limits was chosen for the pilot study area. Monitoring stations are located at the influent and effluent sections of the lake which provided data on the hydraulic and hydrologic parameters. The pilot study determined the nutrient loads to and from the lake and checked for any seasonal variations in pollutant loading or removal efficiencies. For the purpose of this pilot study, only total nitrogen and total phosphorous were examined for two monitoring sites. The nutrient removal efficiency was performed using both the event mean concentration method and the summation of loads method to check for seasonal variation. There were no storm event concentrations available for used in this analysis, however, there were 25 discrete grab samples collected on a bi-monthly basis over a twelve month period. This data was used with corresponding five-minute rainfall and flow data from both the inflow and outflow points. The results of this study did not reveal any seasonal variation in the nutrient concentrations either flowing into or out from the lake. Although there were some relatively lower values in late spring, the concentration levels of total nitrogen did not seem to vary significantly from its mean value of 0.90 mg/l throughout the year. The concentration levels of total phosphorus did range from 0.02 mg/l to 0.48 mg/l, but not in relation to either season or flow volume fluctuations. The lake showed no net removals of total nitrogen and was actually found to be releasing total phosphorus to the downstream receiving waters. The findings of this study are limited due to the fact that the period of pilot study was only for twelve months and there were no rainfall events used in the analysis. Rainfall events are typically high sources of nutrient loads to a lake. The lower efficiencies were probably due to missing the actual higher nutrient load concentrations during the rainfall event. However, even considering the lack of event data, the nutrient removal efficiency for the pond was still low. This analysis did serve well as a basis for performing future analysis once additional data, including rainfall events, has been collected.


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Graduation Date





Nnadi, Fidelia


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)