Environmental Influences on Pollutants Removal in Modular Bioretention Swale

Authors: Sin Zhi GOH, Say Leong ONG, Jiangyong HU, Cui Xian LIOU, Geok Suat ONG


Abstract – The change in land use due to industrialization and urbanization has resulted in an increase in percentage perviousness in urban landscape. Nutrients and suspended solids accumulated on surfaces of urban cities are often washed into stormwater runoff receiving waterbodies causing eutrophic and unattractive waterbodies. As such, there is a pressing need to mitigate the impact of urbanization and industrialization by shifting towards the use of bioretention systems as a sustainable urban stormwater management system. Despite the large numbers of studies conducted to understand the influences and optimize the performance of bioretention systems; many of these studies were conducted on laboratory or pilot scale, which may not be applicable in field-based studies. Furthermore, many of the researches were done in Australia where there is seasonal changes thus may not be applicable to a tropical country like Singapore. In this study, a modular bioretention swale was constructed and monitored for its performance to improve the quality of urban stormwater runoff. Effluent quality from the bioretention system was observed to meet stormwater treatment guideline set by local government agency, with average removal efficiency of 50.7, 52.6 and 83.8% for total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total suspended solids respectively. It was observed that removal efficiencies of pollutants were affected by influent concentrations and their dissolved (soluble) percentages. Environmental influences such as soil moisture and air temperature also played a part in the performance of the bioretention system. However, due to different nature and removal pathway of the pollutants, the extent in which performance was impacted varied among the pollutants monitored in the project.

Keywords: Bioretention; Modular bioretention swale; Urban stormwater runoff; Macronutrients removal; Nonpoint source pollution

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