Stormwater management, water quality, nitrogen, phosphorus, bmp, lid, treatment trains, water quality model, green roof, pervious pavement


Stormwater runoff from urban areas is a major source of pollution to surface water bodies. The discharge of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus is particularly damaging as it results in harmful algal blooms which can limit the beneficial use of a water body. Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) have been developed over the years to help address this issue. While BMPs have been investigated for years, their use has been somewhat limited due to the fact that much of the data collected is for specific applications, in specific regions, and it is unknown how these systems will perform in other regions and for other applications. Additionally, the research was spread across the literature and performance data was not easily accessible or organized in a convenient way. Recently, local governments and the USEPA have begun to collect this data in BMP manuals to help designers implement this technology. That being said, many times a single BMP is insufficient to meet water quality and flood control needs in urban areas. A treatment train approach is required in these regions. In this dissertation, the development of methodologies to evaluate the performance of two BMPs, namely green roofs and pervious pavements is presented. Additionally, based on an extensive review of the literature, a model was developed to assist in the evaluation of site stormwater plans using a treatment train approach for the removal of nutrients due to the use of BMPs. This model is called the Best Management Practices Treatment for Removal on an Annual basis Involving Nutrients in Stormwater (BMPTRAINS) model. The first part of this research examined a previously developed method for designing green roofs for hydrologic efficiency. The model had not been tested for different designs and assumed that evapotranspiration was readily available for all regions. This work tested this methodology against different designs, both lab scale and full scale. Additionally, the use of the Blaney-Criddle equation was examined as a simple way to determine the ET for regions where data was not readily available. It was shown that the methods developed for determination of green roof efficiency had good agreement with collected data. Additionally, the use of the Blaney-Criddle equation for estimation of ET had good agreement with collected and measured data. The next part of this research examined a method to design pervious pavements. The water storage potential is essential to the successful design of these BMPs. This work examined the total and effective porosities under clean, sediment clogged, and rejuvenated conditions. Additionally, a new type of porosity was defined called operating porosity. This new porosity was defined as the average of the clean effective porosity and the sediment clogged effective porosity. This porosity term was created due to the fact that these systems exist in the exposed environment and subject to sediment loading due to site erosion, vehicle tracking, and spills. Due to this, using the clean effective porosity for design purposes would result in system failure for design type storm events towards the end of its service life. While rejuvenation techniques were found to be somewhat effective, it was also observed that often sediment would travel deep into the pavement system past the effective reach of vacuum sweeping. This was highly dependent on the pore structure of the pavement surface layer. Based on this examination, suggested values for operating porosity were presented which could be used to calculate the storage potential of these systems and subsequent curve number for design purposes. The final part of this work was the development of a site evaluation model using treatment train techniques. The BMPTRAINS model relied on an extensive literature review to gather data on performance of 15 different BMPs, including the two examined as part of this work. This model has 29 different land uses programmed into it and a user defined option, allowing for wide applicability. Additionally, this model allows a watershed to be split into up to four different catchments, each able to have their own distinct pre- and post-development conditions. Based on the pre- and post-development conditions specified by the user, event mean concentrations (EMCs) are assigned. These EMCs can also be overridden by the user. Each catchment can also contain up to three BMPs in series. If BMPs are to be in parallel, they must be in a separate catchment. The catchments can be configured in up to 15 different configurations, including series, parallel, and mixed. Again, this allows for wide applicability of site designs. The evaluation of cost is also available in this model, either in terms of capital cost or net present worth. The model allows for up to 25 different scenarios to be run comparing cost, presenting results in overall capital cost, overall net present worth, or cost per kg of nitrogen and phosphorus. The wide array of BMPs provided and the flexibility provided to the user makes this model a powerful tool for designers and regulators to help protect surface waters.


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Graduation Date





Chopra, Manoj


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering








Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic