American Society of Civil Engineers

Multiyear and Seasonal Variation of Infiltration from Storm-Water Best Management Practices

by Clay H. Emerson, (corresponding author), M.ASCE, (Water Resource Engineer, Princeton Hydro, 1200 Liberty Pl., Sicklerville, NJ 08081; formerly, Ph.D. Candidate, Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Villanova Univ., 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085 E-mail: and Robert G. Traver, M.ASCE, (Dir., Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, and Assoc. Prof. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Villanova Univ., 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085)

Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 5, September/October 2008, pp. 598-605, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Special Issue: Urban Storm-Water Management
Abstract: Reduction of storm-water volumes through infiltration is becoming a commonly applied practice in the effort to mitigate the negative hydrologic impacts commonly associated with land development. The hydrologic impacts generally include increases in both the volume and peak flow rate of runoff along with an associated decrease in groundwater recharge. Infiltration best management practices (BMPs) are the foundation of many low impact development and Green infrastructure practices. As the movement to volume reduction is a relatively recent concept, there remains a lack of detailed long-term monitoring data to support the implementation of storm-water infiltration BMPs. Two storm-water infiltration BMPs on the campus of Villanova University located in Southeastern Pennsylvania have been continuously monitored to determine the long-term and seasonal variation related to the engineered infiltration of storm-water runoff. The analysis of continuous monitoring data indicates that both BMPs show considerable seasonal variation but exhibit no evidence of a systematic decrease in performance to date. The seasonal variation of the BMPs is explained primarily by the temperature dependency of the viscosity of water.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Best Management Practice
Hydraulic conductivity
Stormwater management
Temperature effects