March 2013
Florida Scientist;Spring2013, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p275
Academic Journal
To help refine pollutant loading estimates throughout Sarasota County, the County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District monitored multiple medium-density residential areas to quantify the difference in pollutant loads between areas served by swales and areas served by curb and gutter. Sites were selected to be as similar as possible (e.g., soils, age of development, lawn care intensity, imperviousness, etc.) so that differences in results could be attributed to use of curb and gutter versus swales. Conditions favorable to higher confidence flow monitoring and proximity of sites to each other were also considered in site selection. Monitoring results showed significant differences in flow volumes and pollutant concentrations between the two types of areas. Pollutant loads from the swaled areas were substantially lower (10-fold less for some pollutants) than those from curb and gutter areas. Additionally, the swaled areas demonstrated runoff response patterns characteristic of an area without directly connected impervious area. The findings from this study are highly supportive of low impact design and demonstrate the effectiveness of source control higher in the stormwater system, particularly for systems with disconnected impervious areas.


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