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Hydrological benefits of filtering swales for metal removal

Monrabal-Martinez, C., Aberle, J., Muthanna, T.M., Orts-Zamorano, M.
Water research 2018 v.145 pp. 509-517
decision making, drainage, filters, overland flow, rain, runoff, soil, storms, stormwater management, water content
This paper studies the hydraulic performance of two swales composed of filters for stormwater management (filtering swales) in a large-scale experimental study and compares them to the performance of a swale composed of traditional bioretention soil (bioswale). Using experimental data, dimensionless formulations are derived to reflect the influence of swale design parameters on hydraulic performance. The developed formulas can be used to design swales accounting for practical factors for decision makers such as local rainfall patterns, volume capture requirements, and drainage area. The experimental data show that while the bioswale is characterized by large overland flows, the tested filtering swales manage, in the majority of cases, the complete inflow volume without overland flow. The longitudinal slope of the swales does not affect the infiltration capacity of the filtering swales for the tested experimental boundary conditions, only the inflow rate and media water content are found to be statistically significant. As an example, filtering swales tested in this study captured 90% of the runoff generated by a 12.2 mm/h storm (approximately a 5-year return period 1-h duration storm event in the city of Trondheim) on a road 40 times larger than the swale. This highlights the capacity of such swales for handling infrequent events.