International Study Facilitates Understanding of Options & Costs

Black & Veatch Corp. has completed a three-year study of BestManagement Practices (BMPs) and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) thatwill enhance understanding of stormwater quality management technologies andissues in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Changes in land use associated with urbanization can alter thevolume and quality of stormwater runoff. BMPs and SUDS are measures used in theUnited States and the United Kingdom, respectively, to reduce adverse impacts toreceiving waters. The study, collectively funded by the Water EnvironmentResearch Foundation (WERF), United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) andthe Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF), was launched to obtain more detailedinformation associated with selected BMPs and SUDS. Professionals from Black& Veatch led teams in both countries in support of the effort that willimprove overall stormwater quality management.

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In addition to Black & Veatch, the U.K. research team includedH.R. Wallingford Ltd. and the Urban Water Technology Center at the University ofAbertay, Dundee, Scotland. The U.S. team included the Center for Research inWater Resources of the University of Texas in Austin and Glenrose Engineering ofAustin.

“The collective expertise and efforts have produced a report thatwill yield international benefits,” says Black & Veatch project director LesLampe, who is also the Black & Veatch Water Resources director. Participantsreviewed the scientific literature and surveyed existing information on BMPs andSUDS, then assessed the performance, maintenance requirements and whole-lifecosts of selected BMPs/SUDS. Evaluation focused on retention ponds, extendeddetention basins, vegetated swales, bioretention systems, porous pavement andinfiltration facilities.

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The study resulted in the development of a whole-life cost modelthat demonstrates that the level of maintenance had a pronounced effect onwhole-life costs for most facilities.