Efficient Sizing of Storm Water Treatment Ponds

by Thomas R. Sear,
Brenda van Ravenswaay,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


An anticipated result of the NPDES storm water program will be the proliferation of regional storm water ponds that capture and treat urban land surface runoff, thereby improving the quality of the receiving water body. In the State of Florida, wet detention systems are a common type of storm water treatment pond, which maintain a permanent pool level and are effective in providing improved water quality. An approach is presented that will allow the facility designer to select the most appropriate treatment volume for a wet detention system, given the meteorological conditions and hydrologic parameters of the drainage basin. Extended hydrologic simulations were completed using the SWMM4 model for a range of drainage basin parameters and sets of design curves were developed that relate pond capture volume to the treatment efficiency of the facility for the period of simulation. Given the meteorological, soil, and land use conditions of the drainage basin, these design curves will allow the most efficient pond size to be selected, given the water quality goals and fiscal constraints of the facility manager.

Subject Headings: Stormwater management | Building design | Hydraulic design | Water conservation | Retention basins | Soil treatment | Hydrologic models | Water discharge | Florida | United States

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