USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

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Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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Publications and Products

Title: Performance of two bioswales on urban runoff management

Authors: Xiao, Qingfu; McPherson, E.; Zhang, Qi; Ge, Xinlei; Dahlgren, Randy

Date: 2017

Source Infrastructures

Abstract: This study evaluated the effectiveness of two bioswales eight years after construction in Davis, California. The treatment bioswale measured 9 m × 1 m × 1 m (L × W × D). Engineered soil mix (75% native lava rock and 25% loam soil) replaced the native loam soil. Four Red Tip Photinia (Photinia × fraseri Dress) trees and two Blueberry Muffin Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis umbellata (Thunb.) Makino) shrubs were planted in the bioswale. Runoff flowed into the bioswale from an adjacent 171 m2 panel of turf grass. An identically sized control bioswale consisting of non-disturbed native soil was located adjacent to the treatment bioswale. Surface runoff quantity and quality were measured during three experiments with different pollutant loads. When compared to the control, the treatment bioswale reduced surface runoff by 99.4%, and reduced nitrogen, phosphate, and total organic carbon loading by 99.1%, 99.5%, and 99.4%, respectively. After eight years, tree growth characteristics were similar across both sites.

Keywords: bioswale, engineered soil mix, urban runoff, water quality, urban forest

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    Xiao, Qingfu; McPherson, E.; Zhang, Qi; Ge, Xinlei; Dahlgren, Randy. 2017. Performance of two bioswales on urban runoff management. Infrastructures. 2(4): 12.
Last Modified: October 27, 2017