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J Environ Manage. 2008 Jun;87(4):560-6. Epub 2007 May 4.

Stormwater runoff and export changes with development in a traditional and low impact subdivision.

Author information

1
Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5215, USA. michael.dietz@usu.edu

Abstract

Development continues at a rapid pace throughout the country. Runoff from the impervious surfaces in these watersheds continues to be a major cause of degradation to freshwater bodies and estuaries. Low impact development techniques have been recommended to reduce these impacts. In this study, stormwater runoff and pollutant concentrations were measured as development progressed in both a traditional development, and a development that used low impact development techniques. Increases in total impervious area in each watershed were also measured. Regression relationships were developed between total impervious area and stormwater runoff/pollutant export. Significant, logarithmic increases in stormwater runoff and nitrogen and phosphorus export were found as development occurred in the traditional subdivision. The increases in stormwater runoff and pollutant export were more than two orders of magnitude. TN and TP export after development was 10 and 1 kg ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively, which was consistent with export from other urban/developed areas. In contrast, stormwater runoff and pollutant export from the low impact subdivision remained unchanged from pre-development levels. TN and TP export from the low impact subdivision were consistent with export values from forested watersheds. The results of this study indicate that the use of low impact development techniques on a watershed scale can greatly reduce the impacts of development on local waterways.

PMID:
17481806
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.03.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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