In recent years, concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus have increased in surface and groundwater resources, due in part to non-point source pollution associated with stormwater runoff. The elevated nutrient concentrations found in stormwater runoff have prompted the design of best management practices (BMP's) to mitigate the problem. The overall objective within this thesis is to analyze the performance of innovative surface BMPs and investigate connections between the BMPs and groundwater flows to freshwater springs within a karst environment. The performance of two stormwater BMPs, blanket filters and vertical reactors containing Bio-sorption Activated Media (BAM), are assessed in terms of hydraulic retention time. Capture efficiency is also evaluated for the blanket filters. Blanket filters captured, at minimum 68% of the stormwater runoff entering a stormwater basin in one year. Water content monitoring indicates that BAM is affected by the surrounding water table. The vertical reactors are more appropriate technologies for small contributing areas. Tracking a conservative tracer from an injection point within a stormwater basin to nearby Silver Springs reveals several unique flowpaths and velocities of groundwater. Subsurface velocities observed in the basin ranged from 0.1 m/d to 1.4 m/d, while velocities from the injection well to the spring vary from 2.3 m/d to 13.5 m/d. The fastest travel times observed in the spring may represent flowpaths that include macropore/conduit flow through karst features, while the slower peaks may be more representative of matrix flow. Interaction with karst features may reduce retention time of stormwater in aquifers, altering expected nutrient transformations. Understanding the variable pathways stormwater may take from the surface to spring discharge may assist environmental managers in preserving water quality in springs and other waterbodies in karst systems.
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rice, Nyle, "Evaluating Hydrologic Fluxes Through Stormwater Treatment Systems: Implication to Freshwater Springs in a Karst Environment" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5996.