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Comparison of quality of stormwater runoff in a detention basin before and after the conversion to a bio-infiltration basin
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2023 Authors: Benthota Pathiranage W., Surbeck C.

A stormwater detention basin is designed for the mitigation of possible hazards from stormwater runoff like flooding and erosion by temporally storing the excess runoff water and releasing it at a more controlled speed. The detention basin in front of the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, University of Mississippi, also has been designed for the same purpose. This detention basin was recently converted into a bio-infiltration basin with dry wells and cypress trees to further reduce stormwater runoff and pollution to receiving water bodies. Dry wells are used to increase the overall infiltration volume of the stormwater runoff. This can be specifically called a 'bio-infiltration basin' because the vegetation is used to help regulate the water content of the soil and intercept the rainwater. Five cypress trees have been planted in the detention basin. It was hypothesized that the quality of the water leaving the detention basin would be improved compared to the water entering it once it was converted to a bio-infiltration basin. The quality of the runoff water in the basin was evaluated in terms of total coliforms, E. coli, inorganic metals and suspended solid concentration based on the samples collected before and after the conversion into the bio-infiltration basin. Data collected since the basin conversion are not quantitatively enough to support or reject the project hypothesis. Still, the bio-infiltration basin is in its initial stage. This presentation reports on the test results that belong to the samples collected before and soon after the conversion to the bio-infiltration basin. It will take time for the plants' roots to grow and develop the tree canopy for a better infiltration performance. So, this is a continuous project that expects to collect more water quality data to investigate whether the infiltration mechanisms would really improve the quality of the stormwater runoff. It is recommended to test more water quality parameters that are influential to human health and aquatic ecosystems of the receiving water bodies.

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