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World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008 Ahupua'a

2008 ASCE

A Fresh Design Outlook: Update of the WEF/ASCE Manual of Practice


Design of Urban Runoff Controls
Daniel E. Medina, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE 1 and Christine A. Pomeroy, Ph.D.,
P.E., M.ASCE 2

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CH2MHILL, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 670, Silver Spring, MD 20910; PH (301)
495.8840 x 41017; e-mail: Daniel.Medina@ch2m.com

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah, 122 S.


Central Campus Drive, Room 104, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; PH (801) 585-7300; email: Christine.Pomeroy@utah.edu
Abstract
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the American Society of Civil
Engineers (ASCE) are collaborating in the development of the Manual of Practice
(MOP) Design of Urban Runoff Controls as an update to WEFs MOP 23 and
ASCEs Manual and Report on Engineering Practice 87. The focus of the manual will
be to provide a defensible technical document that addresses the design and
maintenance of stormwater controls, for new development as well as retrofit and
redevelopment. The MOP provides a contemporary outlook based on recent
improvements in stormwater management, for example:

Emphasis will be placed on the combined hydrologic, water quality,


geomorphic and ecologic effects of urban drainage systems and integration of
these considerations in site planning and design.
Sizing guidance will be based on unit process principles.
A taxonomy of runoff controls will be provided to unify terminology
Numerical design examples will be provided for each of the featured controls.

Two audiences are identified: 1) Engineers designing stormwater management


infrastructure for developers, and reviewers of those designs; and 2) non-technical
government officials who need to know what to ask their engineering staffs regarding
the adequacy of a proposed urban runoff control plan, or the development of
stormwater management policies.
The MOP will reflect the collective knowledge and experience represented in an
international task force of over 100 practitioners including designers, manufacturers,
planners, regulators, and academics. Vetted by WEFs and ASCEs industry-wide
review process, the MOP will be an authoritative reference of the state-of-the-practice
in stormwater design.
Introduction
In 1998, guidelines for design, construction and operation of urban stormwater
management systems were published in the joint ASCE Manual and Report on
Engineering Practice No. 87 and Water Environment Federation (WEF) Manual of

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World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008 Ahupua'a

2008 ASCE

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Practice (MOP) No. 23 entitled "Urban Runoff Quality Management." This manual
focused on urban runoff quality and details on water quantity were provided in the
companion 1992 publication Design and Construction of Urban Stormwater
Management Systems (ASCE Manuals and Reports of Engineering Practice No. 77;
WEF Manual of Practice No. FD-20). After an industry-wide review of MOP 23,
WEF concluded that an update was warranted to bring the publication up to date in
view of recent developments in stormwater management.
Starting in the early 1990s, the field of stormwater management changed rapidly with
the advent of Low Impact Development (LID). Based on a paradigm of small
distributed controls, LID has been often contrasted with conventional stormwater
management, typically based on end-of-pipe technologies. At the same time, research
on stormwater impact continued emphasizing that, in addition to water quality,
aquatic habitat and geomorphic integrity were equally important to stream ecosystem
health. Impacts on these additional aspects are clearly linked to stormwater quantity,
which implies that that both quantity and quality should be considered in parallel.
These developments resulted in additional design requirements in many jurisdictions
to address these issues.
To these new challenges, the stormwater management industry responded with the
development of new technologies, some of them proprietary devices, intended to
address new performance standards. These new technologies underwent a process of
research and field testing and some of them reached a level of maturity that has made
them commonplace in stormwater management design and even academic instruction
in civil engineering programs.
The advent of these technologies had the unintended consequence of introducing
terminology that became confusing, often including misleading, duplicative, or poorly
defined terms. These technologies provide various functions, such as detention and
filtering, but the ensuing confusion has clouded the physical processes that make
them useful in the different aspects of stormwater management.
Another unintended outcome of the introduction of new technologies was an
approach to design based on selection of stormwater Best Management Practices
(BMPs) from menus of options acceptable to a jurisdiction or regulator. This
approach ignores the physical processes that each of these runoff controls offers and
their applicability to meeting the goals of managing stormwater based on a desired
performance. However, there is a more reliable approach to selection based on unit
processes that leads to design of a stormwater treatment system whose components
are selected to specifically address the desired performance.
The update to the MOP presented in this paper is aimed at meeting these new
challenges. The MOP adopts a holistic view of stormwater management considering
both water quantity and quality. The management goals are addressed through
treatment systems, whose components are selected from unit process principles. LID
controls and conventional alternatives are integrated into the array of available

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World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008 Ahupua'a

2008 ASCE

technologies, and a taxonomy of all of these controls is presented in an attempt to


clarify terminology.

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The following sections of this paper provide a brief overview of the anticipated
content in each chapter of the MOP.
Impacts of Stormwater on Receiving Waters
This chapter describes how development affects urban stream hydrology,
geomorphology, water quality and aquatic ecology, and the need to integrate these
four areas into stormwater controls. The effects of stormwater and urban runoff
controls on the urban hydrologic regime, including impacts on runoff volume, peak
flow magnitude, peak flow frequency, flow duration and low-flows are described.
Sources of runoff contamination and the effect of urban runoff controls on pollution
reduction are summarized. Geomorphologic effects of urbanization and urban runoff
controls are provided. Lastly, this chapter summarizes the effects of urbanization on
aquatic ecosystems, describing biological and habitat impacts with respect to changes
in flow regime, sedimentation, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and degradation
of aquatic habitat structure.
Governmental Stormwater Management Programs
Aimed at stormwater managers, this chapter provides guidance on the need for
stormwater controls, watershed approaches and drivers; expected outcomes, resource
needs and funding sources, and components of successful stormwater management
programs. Government roles in managing urban runoff are described, as well as
guidelines for administering municipal stormwater programs. Approaches to funding
stormwater controls through stormwater utilities, rate allocation or cost of services
approaches are discussed. Public education programs are also described in this
chapter.
Processes for Runoff Control
In this chapter a new framework is presented for stormwater management: unit
processes and unit operations, a concept borrowed from wastewater engineering. The
concept is applied to both quantity and quality control, given that these two
stormwater management objectives frequently merge in one facility. With respect to
stormwater treatment, unit process refers to all pollutant removal mechanisms and is
also applied to processes of runoff control that mitigate the adverse effects of
excessive flow rates and volumes, such as infiltration and flow rate attenuation. Unit
operations refer to structures in which one or more unit processes occurs such as wet
ponds, sand filters, vortex separators, and flood control detention ponds (Minton,
2005). This chapter describes unit treatment processes and their applicability to
quantity and quality control. Processes examined include volume reduction through
infiltration, evaporation and evapotranspiration, peak attenuation, sedimentation,
vortex separation, flotation, filtration, precipitation, coagulation, disinfection,
screening, and biological treatment.

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Selection of Stormwater Controls


Selection of stormwater controls requires an understanding of the pollutants most
likely to be exported from the site, the most significant problems in the receiving
waters, which unit processes are most effective at treating the pollutants, and how the
unit process can be combined in a stormwater control or series of controls to most
effectively provide the treatment needed. Site constraints usually limit the choices
available to the designer, so an understanding of the situations preventing the use of a
particular control is also very important. This chapter summarizes criteria to consider
for stormwater control selection and describes how planning, site design, and source
control measures meet quantity and quality goals. Physical selection criteria such as
drainage area, the land area required for the system, topography, geology, depth to
bedrock, water table, soils and climate are examined. Construction constraints,
environmental impacts and permitting, performance, and social constraints are also
evaluated.
Stormwater Control Design
This chapter provides design guidance using unit processes methodologies applied to
conventional and LID stormwater controls in new development and retrofits. Typical
applications for each stormwater control are summarized, including physical site
suitability, hydrologic and hydraulic control mechanisms, and pollutant removal
mechanisms. The limitations of each stormwater control are provided, along with
aesthetic and safety considerations and access and maintenance features. Design
procedure and criteria are outlined, including typical configurations, and criteria for
pretreatment units, treatment units and outlet structures. A design example is also
provided for each management practice.
Maintenance of Stormwater Controls
Maintenance of stormwater controls is necessary to preserve their intended water
quality benefit and stormwater conveyance capacity. The objective of this chapter is
to identify the maintenance required for various types of controls. Included in this
chapter is a discussion of maintenance activities and practices required to maintain
function, for aesthetic reasons, or for health and safety requirements. Topics
discussed include inspection programs, the effect of construction activities on
stormwater control maintenance, vegetation management, sediment accumulation,
removal, and disposal, liquids removal and disposal, and vector and pest
management. Many of the observations and recommendations presented in this
chapter were developed in a study of practices in the U.S. and United Kingdom
funded by the Water Environment Research Foundation and reported in the
publication, Performance and Whole Life Costs of Best Management Practices and
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (Lampe et al., 2005).
Whole Life Cost of Stormwater Controls
This chapter describes a protocol for estimating whole life costs of runoff control
facilities. Capitol, operation, and maintenance costs are explored. Benefits from
developing an accurate whole life cost include an improved understanding of longterm investment requirements, in addition to capital costs. This provides an ability to

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2008 ASCE

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make more cost-effective project choices for stormwater management practice


selection, explicit assessment and management of long term risk based on a planned
monitoring and maintenance program, and reduces uncertainties associated with
development of appropriate agreements when responsibility for a system is
transferred to another agency/organization.
Performance Assessment
Performance assessment is necessary to identify effective management practices for
improving stormwater runoff water quality. This chapter provides guidance on
creating goals and objectives of performance assessment, and describes data
collection techniques that are appropriate and useful for monitoring stormwater
management practices. Guidance on development of monitoring plans is provided.
Physical setup and equipment, costs, and challenges associated with collection of
rainfall, flow, and water quality are summarized along with approaches to data
validation and management. Statistical and qualitative assessment methods are also
described.
Analytical Tools for Stormwater Control Simulation
This chapter provides a survey of analytical tools available to model hydrologic,
hydraulic, and water quality processes. The usefulness, appropriateness, and
reasonableness of various modeling approaches such as analytical/ empirical
equations, spreadsheets, models for individual controls as well as catchment models
are explored. Criteria for model selection including objectives (i.e., peak flow
reduction/ CSO controls/ pollutant mass reduction), model complexity, spatial and
temporal considerations, performance, and modeler experience are described. Data
needs for model application are also included.
References
Lampe, L., Barrett, M., Woods-Ballard, B., Andrews, A., .Martin, P., Kellagher, R.,
Hollon, M., and Jefferies, C. 2005. Performance and Whole Life Costs of Best
Management Practices and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: Final Report 2005,
Water Environment Research Foundation Project 01-CTS-21T, Alexandria, VA.
Minton, G., 2005, Stormwater Treatment: Biological, Chemical, and Engineering
Principles, RPA Press, Seattle, Washington.

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