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CWRA Presentation


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On Monday, Crozier & Associates Partner and Senior Water Resources Engineer Nick Mocan presented alongside Dr. Kevin Stevens of Wilfrid Laurier University at the 2019 CWRA National Conference on how targeted vegetation plantings can be used to enhance water quality treatment in stormwater management facilities.

Their presentation covered the last 8 months of site visits, vegetation surveys, and water sampling at a stormwater management (SWM) pond near a subdivision in the Credit Valley Conservation Authority watershed. Dr. Stevens, an expert in wetland plant ecology, discussed the science behind how plants can contribute to water quality treatment, the types of vegetation found at the site, and preliminary water quality analysis results. Mocan drew on his expertise in stormwater management to review the impact of climate change on SWM facility inputs, hydrology, and hydraulics. Mocan also highlighted how this multi-disciplinary research can help stormwater facilities cope with the effects of a changing climate.
Preliminary results show that vegetation in the subject SWM pond is performing nutrient removal year-round, but that removal rates are diminished during colder periods. However, there appear to be increasing removal efficiencies as vegetation begins to re-establish itself. Vegetation surveys also noted that volunteer species are contributing to increased species richness, but these plants may not all be desirable.

The second stage of this project will involve developing targeted planting mixes based on local hydrologic, hydraulic, and environmental conditions. We anticipate these mixes will provide improved water quality treatment in SWM facilities, prevent incursions of invasive plant species, and contribute to the reduction of nutrient loading in urban stormwater that reaches lakes and streams.

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CWRA Presentation

  1. 1. Existing Stormwater Management Facilities Source: 15,000 Municipal Stormwater Management Facilities 2/3 Constructed after 1999
  2. 2. ENHANCING YEAR-ROUND FUNCTION in Stormwater Management Facilities Through Targeted Vegetation Plantings CWRA CONFERENCE – MAY 27, 2019 Nick Mocan, M.Sc., P.Eng. | Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers Dr. Kevin Stevens | Wilfrid Laurier University
  3. 3. The ClimateThe Climate WINTER Increased average winter temperature RAINFALL increased winter runoff CONTAMINANTS increased transport of water-soluble contaminants INVASIVE increased northern limits of invasive species 2070-2100 +3 to +6 2041-2070 +2 to +4 2011-2040 0 to +2 Reference period: 1971-2000. Climate change scenario: B2 In Colombo et al. (2007); MNR Climate Change Research Report, 2011.
  4. 4. The Challenges 1 How well are existing SWM facilities coping with climate change? 3 How can we minimize incursion of invasive species while still having cost-effective plantings? 2 Can we optimize year-round function in SWM facilities?
  5. 5. Dr. Kevin Stevens Nick Mocan, M.Sc., P.Eng. Engage Grant The Team
  6. 6. SAMPLING  Wet Pond  Vegetation Survey  Hydraulic Monitoring  Water Quality Sampling ANALYSIS  Removal Efficiencies  Key Observations  Recommendations  Subdivision  Coldwater Creek  CVC Watershed LOCATION SW M The Project
  7. 7. Directly uptake nutrients Provide a haven for microbes The Science Re-oxygenate soils (all seasons) O2 O2 O2 O2
  8. 8. The Science Permanent pool Active storage level Emergent Free-floating Floating-leaved Submerged Wet Pond
  9. 9. 86% 91% 94% 20 40 60 80 100 % Removal Suspended Solids 81% 74% 96% 20 40 60 80 100 % Removal Dissolved Organic Compounds Source: Gersberg et al. 1986 The Science % Removal Ammonia 94% 29% 78% 20 40 60 80 100 Scirpus Validus (Bulrush) Phragmites Communis (Common Reed) Typha Latifola (Cattail)
  10. 10. ANALYSES: YSI Professional Plus Multiparameter Meter, Hach SR3900 Spectrophotometer, Gravimetric: Total Suspended Solids The Methodology  Sampling: Fall 2018  Identified using Michigan flora  Survey: Spring 2019 Vegetation Survey  Water depth: Water level data logger  Rainfall: Environment Canada & Credit Valley Conservation Hydraulic Monitoring  Water samples collected at inlet & outlet  pH, salinity, conductivity, K, NH3, NO3-, NO2−, N2, TP, O4P-3, Cl-, TSS Water Quality Sampling
  11. 11. Alismataceae Apiaceae Asteraceae Alisma subchordatum Daucus carota Erigeron strigosus Euthamia graminifolia Eutrochium maculatum Lactuca sp. Solidago canadensis Symphyotrichum ericoides Symphyotrichum lateriflorum Symphyotrichum novae-angliae Cornaceae Cyperaceae Fabaceae Cornus stolonifera Eleocharis obtusa Scirpus atrovirens Shoenoplectus tabernaemontani Securigera varia Trifolium hybridum Juncaceae Lythraceae Poaceae Juncus tenuis Lythrum salicaria Echinochloa muricata Leersia oryzoides Panicum capillare Setaria viridis Phragmites australis Polygonaceae Rosaceae Salicaceae Typhaceae Persicaria hydropiper Polygonum tenue Rumex crispus Spirea alba Salix sp. Typha latifolia 7 Introduced Species 13 Families 28 Species The Species
  12. 12. Precipitation mm Sample Date The Monitoring Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 0 10 20 30 Precipitation (mm)
  13. 13. Total Phosphorus Concentration, μg/L P04 3- 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 OCT 31NOV 02NOV 26DEC 18JAN 08FEB 04FEB 24MAR 11MAR 27APR 02APR 16APR 18APR 19 μg/L The Phosphorus OutflowInflow
  14. 14. 0 5 10 15 20 25 OCT 31 NOV 02 NOV 26 DEC 18 JAN 08 FEB 04 FEB 24 MAR 11 MAR 27 APR 02 APR 16 APR 18 APR 19 mg/L Total Suspended Solids Concentration, mg/L The TSS OutflowInflow
  15. 15. Cold Tolerant Species The Enhancements Sediment Oxygenation
  16. 16. The Progress 1 Water is moving through SWM facilities throughout the year due to winter rainfall, melt events, and winter runoff. 3 Need to begin examining how to prevent incursion of invasive species by using selected plantings to limit space for them to colonize areas in and around SWM facilities. 2 There is a reduction in removal efficiencies during colder periods. However, there appear to be increasing efficiencies as vegetation re-establishes.
  17. 17. RESEARCH Climate change Winter rainfall Chloride levels MONITORING Rainfall gauges Continuous chemistry Multiple seasons SITES Wetlands Varied climates Aging facilities PARTNERS NSERC Private-sector Municipal / Conservation The Future
  18. 18. Contact Us Nick Mocan, M.Sc., P.Eng. @nickmocan Dr. Kevin Stevens, PhD 3913707b We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).