Study launched with EPA to improve mechanistic understanding of bioretention planters

Posted August 7, 2020

Southern California researchers working to optimize the ability of bioretention planters to treat stormwater runoff have launched a two-year project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) to improve mechanistic understanding of this type of stormwater BMP (best management practice).

The project, launched in July, will seek to document how the physical design and configuration of bioretention planters contributes to their effectiveness in slowing down and reducing the volume of runoff flowing through them. This foundational understanding will help researchers optimize the design of this BMP type to remove contaminants from urban runoff, particularly rooftop runoff.

The project, which complements a similar ongoing East Coast effort, is a partnership between EPA ORD, SCCWRP and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, which will host the research at its Low Impact Development (LID) facility.

Recent studies examining the performance of bioretention systems, including planters, have underscored how little is known about optimizing this BMP type, even as Southern California stormwater managers have invested heavily in installing bioretention BMPs in recent years.


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