thumbnail

Effectiveness of three best management practices for highway-runoff quality along the Southeast Expressway, Boston, Massachusetts

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4059

By:

Links

Abstract

Best management practices (BMPs) near highways are designed to reduce the amount of suspended sediment and associated constituents, including debris and litter, discharged from the roadway surface. The effectiveness of a deep-sumped hooded catch basin, three 2-chambered 1,500-gallon oil-grit separators, and mechanized street sweeping in reducing sediment and associated constituents was examined along the Southeast Expressway (Interstate Route 93) in Boston, Massachusetts. Repeated observations of the volume and distribution of bottom material in the oil-grit separators, including data on particle-size distributions, were compared to data from bottom material deposited during the initial 3 years of operation. The performance of catch-basin hoods and the oil-grit separators in reducing floating debris was assessed by examining the quantity of material retained by each structural BMP compared to the quantity of material retained by and discharged from the oil-grit separators, which received flow from the catch basins. The ability of each structural BMP to reduce suspended-sediment loads was assessed by examining (a) the difference in the concentrations of suspended sediment in samples collected simultaneously from the inlet and outlet of each BMP, and (b) the difference between inlet loads and outlet loads during a 14-month monitoring period for the catch basin and one separator, and a 10-month monitoring period for the second separator. The third separator was not monitored continuously; instead, samples were collected from it during three visits separated in time by several months. Suspended-sediment loads for the entire study area were estimated on the basis of the long-term average annual precipitation and the estimated inlet and outlet loads of two of the separators. The effects of mechanized street sweeping were assessed by evaluating the differences between suspended-sediment loads before and after street sweeping, relative to storm precipitation totals, and by comparing the particle-size distributions of sediment samples collected from the sweepers to bottom-material samples collected from the structural BMPs. A mass-balance calculation was used to quantify the accuracy of the estimated sediment-removal efficiency for each structural BMP. The ability of each structural BMP to reduce concentrations of inorganic and organic constituents was assessed by determining the differences in concentrations between the inlets and outlets of the BMPs for four storms. The inlet flows of the separators were sampled during five storms for analysis of fecal-indicator bacteria. The particle-size distribution of bottom material found in the first and second chambers of the separators was similar for all three separators. Consistent collection of floatable debris at the outlet of one separator during 12 storms suggests that floatable debris were not indefinitely retained.Concentrations of suspended sediment in discrete samples of runoff collected from the inlets of the two separators ranged from 8.5 to 7,110 mg/L. Concentrations of suspended sediment in discrete samples of runoff collected from the outlets of the separators ranged from 5 to 2,170 mg/L. The 14-month sediment-removal efficiency was 35 percent for one separator, and 28 percent for the second separator. In the combined-treatment system in this study, where catch basins provided primary suspended-sediment treatment, the separators reduced the mass of the suspended sediment from the pavement by about an additional 18 percent. The concentrations of suspended sediment in discrete samples of runoff collected from the inlet of the catch basin ranged from 32 to 13,600 mg/L. Concentrations of suspended sediment in discrete samples of runoff collected from the outlet of the catch basin ranged from 25.7 to 7,030 mg/L. The sediment-removal efficiency for individual storms during the 14-month monitoring period for the deep-sumped hooded catch basin was 39 percent.The concentrations of 29 in

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effectiveness of three best management practices for highway-runoff quality along the Southeast Expressway, Boston, Massachusetts
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2002-4059
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2002
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
62 p., one CD-ROM