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Sea Aire Development Stormwater Management

Midterm Report
Austin Balser
Daniel Chewning
Kelly Creswell
Barbara DuBose
October 17, 2014

Executive Summary
Stormwater management is one of the greatest engineering challenges during designing new developments.
Stormwater designs must meet certain state regulations and cannot impose on developable land. This project
seeks to design a stormwater management system that ensures post-development peak runoff rates do not
exceed pre-development rates, while also ensuring post-development runoff volume does not exceed predevelopment volume for both 2 and 25 year storms. The pre-development runoff depth for a 2 and 25 year
storm is 0.62 inches and 2.70 inches, respectively. The post-development runoff depth was found to be 2.57
inches and 5.82 inches for a 2 and 25 year storm, respectively. The average residential lot size, calculated
from a site AutoCAD drawing provided by Robinson Design Engineers, was 4857 ft with an impervious
percent of 40%. Low impact design methods consisting of vegetative roof, rain garden, porous pavement,
infiltration trench, and rain barrels were then sized accordingly to accommodate for the total runoff within a
single residential lot. A 24 hour storm event for a 2 and 25 year storm produced an excess of 7630 gallons
and 11690 gallons, respectively, for each individual lot. The low impact developed methods were designed to
handle 196 ft for a vegetative roof, 107 ft for a rain barrel, 878 ft for an infiltration trench, 241 ft for porous
pavement, and 738 ft for a rain garden.

Recognition of Problem
Urban and suburban development impacts local site hydrology and contributes to regional changes in
ground and surface water flow and quality. The largest impacts of altered hydrology occur during and after
storm events. Increased impervious surface coverage associated with developed land leads to high runoff
rates and low infiltration rates which both reduce the quality of ground and surface water. The lower
infiltration rates that result from increased impervious cover also reduce the amount of groundwater available
for local use.

Definition of Problem
High runoff rates and low infiltration rates lead to high volumes of runoff and lower groundwater
levels. The high runoff rates and volumes that are a result of development degrade surface water quality,
which is environmentally harmful. This is a particular concern in coastal areas where surface runoff reaches
tidal creeks and estuaries, which are environmentally and economically important areas according to the
State of South Carolina (SCDHEC).

Goal of Project
The goal of this project is to design a stormwater management system for the Sea Aire Development
located in the City of Charleston, SC, to ensure the post-development peak runoff rate does not exceed the
pre-development peak runoff rate, as per State regulations, as well as to ensure the post-development volume
of runoff does not exceed pre-development runoff for 2 and 25 year storms. This goal will be accomplished
by designing stormwater management strategies to encourage infiltration on site and reduce runoff flow rates
and volume. Strategies will be chosen through researching Low Impact Development and traditional
stormwater management practices to determine the best choices for the site. The best choices will be
determined by using criteria distributed by the US Green Building Council pertaining to LEED and criteria

for Sustainable Sites certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The sustainability of the design will
also be evaluated according to the Brundtland Report and the sustainability triangle (UN WCED). During the
design, physical site and soil characteristics will be considered to ensure the designs will perform as desired
in situ. The project deliverable will be a site-wide stormwater management plan that meets the goals of this

The nature of this project and design team will place considerable constraints on the final product.
Cost is a consideration with any project and land development or remodeling projects often carry high price
tags. Ideally project cost would not be an object and a perfectly environmentally friendly site design could be
implemented. However as this project has a budget and is subject to approval from the City of Charleston as
well as subject to implementation by several contractors. Therefore cost and regulatory compliance, even at
the expense of environmental design, as well as feasibility of implementation with general contractors will be
The biggest challenges of the project will come from the city and consideration of installation and
implementation. Regulators that approve plans are often resistant to change, and presenting new strategies to
replace traditional methods can be difficult. Convincing contractors of the importance of following drawings
and plans can also be extremely difficult. Contractors often have experience with particular methods of
accomplishing a goal and are reluctant to try new ideas. Some contractors will even ignore instructions to
accomplish a goal in the easiest or cheapest way. In an environmentally conscious design, shortcuts around
or bypasses of installation instructions may harm the functionality of features and defeat the design goal.
The physical constraints of the site will also pose difficulties. Soil characteristics on site may not be facilitate
infiltration and may require augmentation to ensure design features function. The site may also have a very
shallow water table which could hinder infiltration basins and below ground storage. Ideally the stormwater
features designed will function as neighborhood amenities so functionality beyond stormwater management

will also shape the design. Ongoing maintenance may have to be conducted by homeowners so ease of
maintenance will be a design goal as well.
The budget for the design portion of this project is $1400 and will be used to cover travel costs and
other incidental expenses. As implementation and construction of this plan will be handled by a contractor
the design budget does not control construction costs. The design budget should not constrain the design or
design process.

Questions of User, Client and Designer

Keeping the end users, client and designers in mind during the design process is key to producing a
functional and useful design. Involvement of stakeholders throughout the design process allows for concerns
to be addressed before they become problems and guarantees mutual commitment and support for the
project. In a residential development where lots have not been purchased, communicating with all
stakeholders can be difficult; however keeping questions that stakeholders may ask in mind during the design
process can shape the design toward a mutually acceptable product. Possible questions of users, clients and
designers are presented bellow.
The user of the final design will be residents of Sea Aire and three of their questions might be as follows:

What is a rain garden?

Why are there plants in the ditch and why cant I mow my yard?

What do I need to do to do my share of upkeep?

The client for this design is New Leaf Construction, and acting as their agent Robinson Design Engineers
(RDE), their questions might be as follows:

How effective will the design be compared to a traditional design?

How much more will it cost?

Will people like it?

The designer for this project will be the design team and RDE, their questions might be as follows:

How are the state regulations met using non-traditional methods?

How can long term effectiveness of the design be ensured?

How can a stormwater feature be turned into an amenity?

Literature Review
Governing Equations
Governing equations applicable to this project include energy and mass balances as well as other
derivative equations. Separate equations will be used to represent infiltration and runoff rates. All equations
are presented in Appendix A.
An energy balance will be used to ensure the velocity of the water is decreased throughout the target
sub-basin to ensure stability of the design. Mass balances will be used to determine the volume of water
entering and exiting the property during and after a storm event as well as determining nutrient flow. The
Green-Ampt equation will be used to find cumulative infiltration depth at a time, t. Darcys law will be used
to compute the one-dimensional flow of water through a saturated soil. Hortons equation will be used in
determining infiltration rates storm events. The Soil Conservation Service Runoff Method, using the curve
number equations, will be used to predict runoff volume. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation will be
used to determine amount of soil lost from the site.

Literature Data
To gain an understanding of the problem academic and regulatory literature was consulted and a
variety of possible solutions were developed. Both conventional and Low Impact Development (LID)
stormwater Best Management Practices (BPMs) were researched. Conventional BMPs focus on transporting
stormwater to the lowest portion of the site and detaining it while releasing it slowly in an attempt to mimic a
natural stormwater response. However high percentage of impervious cover leads to higher volumes of
runoff, which do not mimic natural hydrology (Prince Georges County, 1999). Traditional BMPs rely on
designs such as detention ponds, concrete piping, curb drains and other engineered hardscapes. LID

techniques focus on infiltration across the site removing the need for a single large detention basin. LID also
relies upon softscapes such as grassed swales or vegetated retention and treatment wetlands to move water
across site. Through lowering impervious cover and removing hardscapes LID seeks to more accurately
mimic natural hydrology and allow for groundwater recharge (Blount et al, 2011).
Stormwater wetlands have been a popular choice for stormwater management in order to both
capture water and reduce pollutants. Wetlands also have the added benefit of being aesthetically pleasing and
mimic natural processes. The water budget, consisting of a mass balance of the water into and out of a
wetland from Fangmeier et al. is presented in Appendix A.
Using this modified mass balance equation a wetland can be designed to hold a 25-year storm (Burke et al,
Other LID practices researched include various biofiltration and bioretention cells. These can be
vegetated swales that filter and slow flow or rain gardens that encourage infiltration (BMP Handbook,
SCDHEC). Vegetated filter strips serve to filter runoff before it enters retention basins and can reduce
sediment volumes in runoff. Filter strips in conjunction with vegetated detention ponds were modeled by
Alexander et al. in IDEAL (Integrated Design, Evaluation and Assessment of Loadings) to determine
sediment and runoff reduction when compared to traditional designs. The study found that among the
techniques examined a combination of one filter strip and two vegetated ponds reduced runoff volume and
sediment load the most, by 40.8% and 98.6% respectively for a 2 year storm. Other scenarios, from one
unmanaged site to other traditional and LID techniques reduced runoff volume between 0-21.4% and
reduced sediment load between 0-96.7% (Alexander et al. 2008).
The BMP Database categorizes literature pertaining to stormwater management and provided several
articles on LID. The BMP Database compares data from across the word to determine the effectiveness of
different techniques. Technical Summary: Volume Reduction from the database compares different LID
BMPs to determine the volume reduction of runoff compared to traditional BMPs. Data review determined
that vegetated, normally dry BMPs, such as vegetated filter strips, swales and bioretention basins, performed

the best volume reduction function during storm events. Filter strips saw a volume reduction potential of
30%, grassed swales saw a reduction potential of 40% and bioretention basins with underdrains saw a
reduction potential of 50%. These reduction potentials more accurately represent smaller storms with short
return periods than large storm that occur less frequently (Clary et al. 2011).
An article by Clary et al. in 2012 focused on comparing the removal rates for suspended solids,
nutrients and other contaminants. The article compared various BMPs with a focus on LID techniques. LID
techniques performed well across all categories examined, removing suspended solids, nutrients and bacteria.
Traditional retention ponds and porous pavement both removed suspended solids at a rate of 55 mg/L while
detention basins removed suspended solids at a rate of 45 mg/L. Total fecal coliform reduction was best
performed in a wetland basin with 6861 CFU/100 mL, and a grass strip with 8800 CFU/100 mL removed.
Nutrient removal was characterized by total phosphorus and total nitrogen removal. Phosphorus was best
treated in bioretention basins with a removal rate of 0.12 mg/L with retention ponds being the second best
technique with a removal rate of 0.07 mg/L. Nitrogen was best removed by retention ponds with a rate of
0.55mg/L while bioretention basins were the second most effective with a removal rate of 0.35 mg/L (Clary
et al. 2012). Vegetated roofs also performed consistently well across the categories tested. While not best at
any one function they functioned well across the board of tests, showing few weaknesses unlike other
Through this literature review Low Impact Development stormwater techniques emerged as the best
choice for the design goals of this project. More research will be conducted throughout the design process to
determine which strategies specifically will perform best for the site under consideration in Charleston. As
LID is focused on volume reduction BMPs that encourage infiltration will serve to best accomplish the
design goals of this project. Other benefits of LID techniques include pollutant reduction and multifunctional
stormwater features that serve as amenities and management practices.

Past experience and heuristics

Coastal regions often have shallow water tables, and the greater Charleston area of South Carolina is
no exception. Shallow water tables make infiltration difficult as there is often not enough space to store water
while it infiltrates. Lack of elevation change and topography also makes transporting water across the site for
treatment or infiltration difficult without large earthworks and grading. However, sandy soils, which are
characteristic of coastal regions and comprise most of the site encourage fast infiltration which will be a
benefit during design.

Design Methodology and Materials

Analysis of Information
The pre development hydrograph of the 5.9 acre site was created in HEC-HMS and the run off rates
were compared with hand calculations done using the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number Method. The
hydrograph focused only on water that fell directly onto the site. Due to Charlestons flat topography and low
slopes, at this point in the design runoff from area outside the site was considered negligible. The hydrograph
determine the peak runoff rate and the total depth of runoff from the site. For a 2-year storm the total depth
of runoff is 0.62 inches with a peak runoff rate of 0.8 cfs, for a 25-year storm the total depth of runoff is 2.70
inches with a peak runoff rate of 3.9 cfs. After the pre development conditions were assessed the post
development conditions with no stormwater management practices were put in place. This resulted in 2.57
and 5.82 inches of runoff for a 2- and 25- year storm, respectively, and an increase of peak runoff to 3.5 and
8 cfs, respectively.
The change in the hydrograph resulted from increasing the total impervious area. This increase was
caused by adding houses, driveways, garages, and roads to the site. This effectively increased the curve
number, meaning that less water will infiltrate and a larger volume of water will leave the site. The
stormwater management techniques that will be designed will focus on promoting infiltration,
evapotranspiration, evaporation, and preserving ecological functions of the predevelopment site. The original
volume of runoff was 13,309 cubic feet for a 2-year storm and 57,960 cubic feet for a 25 year storm. After

development the volume of runoff increased to 55,169 cubic feet and 124,936 cubic feet for a 2- and 25- year
storm respectively. The total increase in water volume was 41,872 cubic feet and 66,976 cubic feet for a 2and 25- year storm respectively. This will be the amount of runoff that the stormwater management practices
retain over the site. Each lot will have several different low impact development techniques used to retain all
the water for a 2-year storm and most of the water for a 25-year storm. The remaining water will run off and
travel to low areas in the public space to other stormwater management practices.
To determine the impact of each lot on the site wide hydrology, an average lot size was calculated
and modeled. To begin, the post-development volume of water that must be retained for an average lot was
calculated. The calculated volume was based on the runoff depth output from SWMM and the area of an
average lot. The difference between the pre-development and post-development runoff depths represented
the depth that needed to be retained in order to maintain the pre-development runoff volume. The volumes
calculated for a 2- and 25-year storm were 1,020 cubic feet and 1,562 cubic feet, respectively (Appendix B)
It is important to note that the percent of impervious area on a residential lot is higher than the
percent of impervious area found in the public area, 40% versus 30% respectively. Using SWMM modeling
software, for an averaged lot, the total impervious area was about 40% and the runoff depth was 3.14 inches
for a 2-year storm and 6.56 inches for a 25-year storm. This is higher than the runoff depth averaged over the
entire site, 2.57 inches, meaning that the residential lots contribute a large amount of runoff.
Synthesis of Design
The potential designs examined to handle stormwater runoff across the site include a traditional
stormwater pond, a non-traditional stormwater wetland and a suite of LID techniques applied across the site.
The designs were driven by the storage volume required to maintain a pre-development hydrograph, as well
as consideration toward the design intent of the entire development, especially the importance of the public
recreation space. Analysis of alternative designs is presented below.

Alternative Design Options
Through hand and SWMM calculations, the total change in runoff volume that occurred post
development was determined. Traditional stormwater management strategies would suggest constructing a
retention pond to hold and slowly release excess runoff to maintain pre-development runoff rates. If a
traditional pond were to be built the high water table would limit its depth to less than 4 feet, causing its
surface area to be at least 31430 square feet, or 0.8 acres. That area doesnt account for side slopes, freeboard
or any factor of safety, so it is safe to assume a traditional pond would be 0.9 acres. A stormwater basin that
size would take up half of the allotted open space and occupy 15% of the site area greatly reducing the usable
space on site. A traditional basin would also increase the amount of runoff leaving the site post development
due to the fact that only the flow rate, the runoff volume, is regulated which can have detrimental
environmental impacts. This design was not chosen because of both the space limitations and the negative
environmental consequences.
Another alternative design would be a constructed stormwater wetland for the common area space
that would be permanently wet and offer storage volume and a slow discharge rate while facilitating
infiltration. This wetland would be in the center common area of the development and drain to the existing
ditch to allow treated water to flow off site. The center area of the property is approximately two acres,
which if turned into a three foot wetland would take over 70% of the public area to be able to hold the postdevelopment runoff from the site and release it slowly as per SCDHEC regulations. The treatment wetland
would have ecological benefits that the detention basin would not, such as increased nutrient uptake and
sediment settling as well as biological removal of other pollutants. However the space lost to the wetland
would be greater than the space lost to the basin due to the contours required for a functional wetland as well
as the plant material that occupies a small volume of the storage area. While the wetland would be a positive
community feature the loss of recreation area would not benefit the community. As a low impact
development community, each lot is only a few thousand square feet with the space that would in a

traditional development be yard space allotted as community space, therefore it is important to keep the
community space available for recreation and community activities. This design was not chosen due to the
space it would take up and potential maintenance concerns.
The third design option is to implement LID strategies across the entire site, managing stormwater
locally, in each lot and in the public space. The LID strategies examined were small, unobtrusive features
that manage water through infiltration and small scale storage.
Evaluation of Alternatives and Selection of Final Approach
The three options were evaluated according to the design goals of the developer and the importance
of the public recreation space and ecological consciousness led to the selection of LID techniques.
Engineering principles were incorporated in the evaluation and design of each technique. Calculations were
performed, modeling software was utilized, and the constraints of real world design were taken into
consideration. Dealing with the SWMM 5.1 modeling software has been an especially challenging constraint
thus far. To resolve the issues, professionals with experience with the software are being located and
consulted with questions. LID technique evaluations are detailed below.
Vegetative Roof
There are two different types of vegetative roof designs: extensive vegetative roofs and intensive
vegetative roofs. An extensive vegetative roof was chosen due to lower cost and low maintenance. Features
of the roof include plants, engineered soil, filter fabric, a drainage layer, root protection layer and a
waterproof membrane. The structural support design is out of the scope of this project and will be left up to
the structural engineer of the development. A soil layer of about 4 inches will be used to reduce total load on
the roof and a flat roof design with a 1-2% pitch will be used due to aesthetics and increase in water retention
ability (Green Roofs: Inlet LID, 2014).
During a storm the plants and soil will retain water along with the drainage layer and root protection
layer to reduce runoff. Extra water will be removed from the roof via gravel and a covered drain to avoid

clogging. The roof was designed to capture 50% of a 2 year storm event that falls directly on the roof, 405
cubic feet.
A roof protection layer will be placed between the waterproof membrane and the drainage layer to ensure
that plant roots do not penetrate the waterproof membrane (Miller, 2012). The drainage/storage layer will be
used to allow flow of water to the outlet point of the roof (Miller, 2012). A plastic drainage layer was chosen
for this design to reduce weight and increased water capacity. An engineered soil, detailed in Appendix X
will act act as a growing media. The engineered soil will have filter fabric under it to help reduce
erosion(Raja et al., 2014). The vegetation used on the roofs will be Sedum due to its drought resistance. A
drain cover is used to avoid clogging (Extensive Green Roofs, Dutch Green Building Council).
The vegetative roof can hold approximately 195 ft of water, calculated by determining the water

storage of each layer. The root protection layer can hold 4 l/m , the drainage layer can hold 8.7 l/m and the 4

inch soil layer has a 40% water holding capacity. This meets the goal of holding 50% of the water from a 2year storm that falls directly on the roof, 400 ft of water.

Rain Barrel
Rain barrels offer a simple, inexpensive and effective method of capturing a portion of the water
flowing off a rooftop therefore reducing the volume of water contributing to runoff from the site. The basic
idea is to capture water flowing through downspouts of a house or other roofed structure in a barrel where it
can be stored for later use around the home. The Sea Aire lots have houses and garages on each lot so rain
barrels will be incorporated on both structures. The most important design considerations are size and
management of overflow. The size of rain barrel that would be required to capture 100% of the house roof
runoff would be of 1800 gallons and would be 450 gallons for the garage after a 2 year storm. For a 25 year
storm, a barrels with volumes of 2800 gallons and 650 gallons would be required for the house and garage
respectively. A barrel of this magnitude on the small lots of the development be not be reasonable as it would
take up too much space and be an eyesore to the residents. An option that would increase the storage capacity
of the system without requiring a large tank is linked barrels. By linking barrels together the storage capacity

can be increased without increasing the height. Linked barrels are often easier to hide behind bushes or
fencing. The largest barrel aesthetically reasonable was determined to be a 200 gallon barrel. By linking two
200 gallon barrels together on both the house and garage, a total of 400 gallons can be captured from the
house roof as well as the garage roof, for a total of 800 gallons all together. The total runoff from the average
roof and garage combined on site for a 2 and 25 year storm is 3750 gallons and 7000 gallons, respectively,
meaning the 800 gallons captured is still only a fraction of the total runoff from the roof. Since there will be
more water coming off the roof than the barrels will be able to capture, a system to direct overflow was
selected. A automatic downspout diverter was chosen as the best option for handling overflow. It is the most
aesthetically appealing and requires no manual operation during a storm event. When the barrels become
full, water will automatically begin flowing out of the downspout instead of into the barrel (Appendix C).
Since not all of the water will be captured by the barrels, additional LID methods must be used in
collaboration with rain barrels. Ideally, the water flowing out of the downspout will be directed towards
either a infiltration trench or rain garden where it can infiltrate into the ground.
Infiltration Trench
Infiltration trenches act as underground storage reservoirs that facilitate infiltration through
increasing the pressure head of a water column as well as increasing the surface area available for water to
infiltrate through. Trenches usually contain gravel with a void space of 40% offering storage space that is
usually greater than the soil on site. Trenches depend on the hydraulic conductivity of the soil underlying the
trench, so the conductivity of the soil on site was researched on Websoil Survey, a website maintained by the
NRCS. The site is composed of two soils, both loamy fine sands, Seabrook and Kiawah classes represented
as Sk and Ka respectively. Both soils had high saturated conductivities, of 4.75 and 13.04 in/hr, respectively.
These high infiltration rates make the site ideal for infiltration features, therefore an infiltration trench is a
good choice for LID stormwater management. The high water table of the site constrains the size of any
infiltration trench placed on the development so a trench alone cannot be sized to address all the stormwater

runoff from a single lot. A trench can be placed in a yard and grassed over to maintain the appearance of a
lawn so water management can happen without losing lawn space.
Until soil and site test results come in from a third party testing service the water table was assumed
to be 5 feet below the surface based upon standing water in a 5+ foot ditch on the site. An infiltration rate of
2 to 4 inches per hour was assumed based on WebSoil and the recommendation of the PE overseeing the
project. Based on recommendation by Virginia DEQ in published design specifications the depth of the
infiltration trench was designed to be three feet allowing for two feet distance between the bottom of the
trench and the water table (Virginia DEQ). The trench was sized at fifteen percent of the yard area to allow
for other techniques to also be used in remaining areas.
Rain Garden
Rain gardens will be incorporated into the landscape of each individual property. The first parameter
of the rain garden that was designed was the depth. Multiplying the estimated infiltration rate of 2 in/hr by 24
hours gave a suggested depth of 4 feet (Jaber, Woodson, LaChance, and York, 2012). However, the level of
the water table on the site was also a factor to be taken into consideration. With an estimated water table at 5
feet below the surface, a 4 foot depth of garden was determined to be too close to the water table. Therefore a
depth of 3 feet was decided upon. This depth will maximize water storage capacity while remaining a safe
distance away from the water table. The optimal soil composition for drainage and plant growth is 50% sand,
20-30% compost, and 20-30% topsoil (Kaemmerlen, B. 2008). A sieve test may be used to determine the
existing soil composition and amendment that will be required in the rain garden. The surface area of the
garden will be 20% of the yard space which on an average lot is 600 ft . This area was decided upon as the

maximum size the garden should be that would still allow for adequate open space around the homes. A
ponding depth of 6 inches will be created to increase the water storage of the feature and a freeboard of 2
inches will be implemented as a safety measure (Rutgers University). Two inches of shredded hardwood
mulch will be placed on top of the soil media (Jabor, Woodson, LaChance, and York, 2012). A preliminary
plant list includes Beautyberry, Dwarf Palmetto, Muhly Grass, and Carolina Rose (Carolina Yards Plant

Database, 2014). These plants were chosen based on their capability to survive periods of inundation during
storms as well as dry conditions during lack of precipitation. The compatibility of each plant with the pH and
composition of the soil still needs to be researched and factored into the plant selection. As more is learned
about the inventory of local nurseries, this list may be altered to cater to decrease the distance that plants
must be transported.
The water holding capacity of the designed rain garden was calculated by multiplying the void space
of the desired soil, depth, and surface area of the garden and then adding the volume held by ponding which
is the ponding depth times the surface area. The calculated storage capacity was determined to be 5520
gallons for a garden of this size as seen in Appendix C.
Porous Pavement
Porous pavements, or permeable pavements, act as water-storing and water-conveying devices. This
LID option has multiple layers to analyze, including the surface layer, pavement, storage, and underdrain
layer. There are also several design options when considering porous pavers: Permeable Concrete (PC),
Permeable Asphalt (PA), Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement (PICP), and Plastic Reinforcement
Grid Pavers (PG). Our final design will implement the use of PICPs on the driveways of each lot . PICPs
were chosen due to their resemblence to the streets of downtown Charleston, and ease of maintenance.
Annual maintenance is suggested, or if damage is evident from a storm event and can include street
sweeping, a vacuum truck, or simply pressure washing by residents of each lot (Guide to SW BMPs).
Like the infiltration trench, the storage layer of our permeable pavement will be designed to have a
40% void space. The pavement layer will be 3 inches thick, and the surface slope needs to be less than 5%
(Hunt and Collins, 2008); we chose a slope of 3%. The permeability of the pavement layer is set to
approximately 40 inches per hour as modeled in SWMM. The storage layer depth will be set to 12 inches,
and the average area for each driveway is 526.5 square feet. Multiplying the overall depth of the porous
pavement (approx. 1.5 feet) by the average driveway area and then by void space, we can estimate an
average storage capacity of 316 cubic feet of water. Calculations Appear in Appendix C.

Common Area
The common area of the property will contain stormwater features to manage the water that falls
outside individual lot boundaries including the road, road right of way and common meadow. The
management strategies will also provide extra storage and treatment volume in the case of a storm event that
produces more runoff than the individual lot management practices are able to handle. There are three main
features of the common area, bioretention cells, a modified infiltration trench and a modified stormwater
wetland. All of these features will be interconnected with the intent of moving excess water, after treatment
through percolation and filtering, to an existing ditch that carries water off site.
Bioretention Cell
For the common area multiple bioretention cells will be placed in low lying areas and connected via
vegetative swales and underdrains to help infiltrate water and move water to the constructed wetland. The
bioretention cell will have much the same structure as the rain gardens with the addition of an underdrain.
Below the soil layer there will be a layer of choke stone (2 inches) and a layer of stone (up to 9 inches) that
will allow water to infiltrate and travel into an underdrain pipe. The area around the bioretention cell will be
sloped to allow overflow to travel into the vegetated well via a stable grass outfall on the lower side. The
bioretention cells will be sized and strategically placed after the final design for the lots is is determined in
order to know the total amount of runoff the bioretention cell will need to hold.
Modified Infiltration Trench
A large portion of the common area in the center of the development is open meadow.
Approximately half of that space will be a flat field for recreation and off limits to vehicle traffic which
makes it a prime candidate for a large scale infiltration system. The space will be sized to handle any excess
runoff from individual lots and handle runoff from public spaces such as roads and sidewalks. The exact
dimensions of the feature will be determined after the final approaches for the individual lots have been
chosen. The modified infiltration trench operates on the same principles that the lot scale model does and
will operate in the same manner.

Constructed Wetland
The site currently has several drainage ditches running through it. The one that is to remain after
construction is oriented on a North South axis and carries water off site. The existing smaller ditches will
mostly be filled or transformed into infiltration features while the main ditch will be excavated and designed
into a modified stormwater wetland. Traditional stormwater wetlands cover large areas and have meandering
paths, but the site constraints of this project will require a modified design. The wetland area will still offer
nutrient uptake and other pollutant removal through setting and biological activity as a traditional design, but
the impacts will not be as pronounced (Darnault 2014).
At this point in the design process the wetland has not been sized as its design depends upon the
effectiveness of the other lot specific management features. If there is excess runoff from individual lots
during large storms it will be directed toward the common areas which will provide extra storage and
treatment volume. Therefore sizing the wetland will depend upon the other designs on site.

Sustainability Measures
Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a useful tool to examine the long term costs of materials and
designs. For the purposes of this midterm report an introductory LCA was conducted on the different design
techniques. More in-depth LCAs will be conducted in the final report following the selection of final designs
and materials. The LCAs presented here focus mainly on the environmental costs of material production and
end of life uses.
Vegetative Roof
The vegetative roof has several inorganic, plastic layers that are less than ideal. The primary plastic
components of the roof are made of PVC, HDPE and PE. All of the plastics are crude oil derivatives with
large carbon and varying energy costs. The HDPE drainage layer is recycled, which reduces the amount of
raw material required, but production is still energy intensive. Polypropylene is a product made from crude

oil and gas production, the crude oil is refined and propylene product and then goes through polymerization
(Mariam et al.). The extraction of crude oil can be detrimental to the environment and these plastics should
be avoided but design constraints may not allow this. Further research will be done to analyze better
materials (Bosch et al, 2004). The soil media and plants will be obtained locally to reduce overall carbon
emissions from transportation.
Rain Garden
A rain garden with no underdrain as designed in this project has no material that requires industrial
manufacturing. The selected plants are perennials, meaning they will not need to replaced unless unforeseen
and extreme conditions occur. The amended soil should also hold its composition and not need to be replaced
for many years.
Bioretention Cell
The bioretention cells will include all of the components mentioned above in the rain garden section
but will also have an underdrain to transport water underneath highpoints on the road and walkways to the
ultimate destination on site, the constructed wetland. This underdrain will be PVC piping which requires
manufacturing. The manufacturing of PVC however puts out less CO2 than metal or aluminum. The lifespan
of PVC is typically between 15-50 years depending on application. As long as the installed PVC is not
exposed to the sun, the PVC used in underdrains should have a lifespan close to 50 years.
Porous Pavement
Unlike a rain garden, porous pavement materials do require industrial manufacturing, both PVC and
the concrete pavers. However, the pavement layer is made from raw materials, as well as the storage layer.
This storage layer is made of gravel (crushed granite) and has little impact on its surrounding ecosystem.
Most of the concern for the life cycle of permeable pavements comes when actual usage begins, and as
maintenance is carried out. Vehicles will be using these driveways, and this means oil and fuel will most
likely interact with the pavers on some level. This is considered when street sweeping or vacuuming occurs
because there is potential for transporting these chemicals off site.

Infiltration Trench
The infiltration trenches will be relatively low impact on a life cycle assessment scale, as the primary
material used is gravel which has low embodied energy and carbon cost according to Hammond and Jones.
This is due mostly to the fact that aggregate is a byproduct of other quarrying operations, so little energy is
spent to produce it. The other component of the trench is the filter fabric. Most fabrics are made of nylon or
other synthetic, non-recycleable materials, however Dupont offers recycled nylon products and may have a
suitable fabric (Dupont). More research will be required to determine the best selection of filter fabric, as
well as the environmental costs of production. Fortunately the design of the infiltration trench will be long
lasting and end of life use should not be a concern as it will serve its entire useful life as designed.
Rain Barrel
The current selection of material for the rain barrel is a 200 gallon polyethylene barrel. While this is a
fully recyclable material, it is not the most environmentally conscious material to manufacture. Therefore,
options of a more sustainable material are continuing to be researched. The downspout diverter is composed
of plastic with is also requires undesirable manufacturing. A positve about the rain barrel is that it should
have a long lifetime, lasting years without replacement as long as it is taken care of.
Constructed Wetland
The constructed wetland will be one of the lowest impact aspects of the design, as the largest portion
of the feature will be the planted vegetation in it. The plants will have a net carbon negative cost since during
growth they will sequester carbon (Klotz 2013). The wetland will also filter runoff and uptake nutrients to
improve the water quality of runoff exiting the ditch. More information on the LCA will be presented in the
final report.

Contributions to Sustainability
Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present in a way that allows future generations to
do the same without hindrance (UN WCED). For the purposes of this project sustainability means addressing

the design goals with the intention of preventing future problems and ensuring the design goals take into
account broader goals of environmental and social responsibility than required by law.
Sustainability has three focus areas as defined in the Brundtland Report: environmental
sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability (UN WCED). To address environmental and
ecological sustainability the design will focus on reducing the hydrologic effects of development on the local
ecosystem. Economically the design will be low cost and prevent flooding as well as reducing the load on
municipal stormwater management structures. Socially the design will offer recreational space and learning
opportunities for residents of the development.
Ethics will affect the final product in a non-traditional way by guiding the design process to ensure the future
users and biology stay central to the design choices made.

The design will manage stormwater on site for the design storms and reduce the load on municipal
stormwater systems leading to reduced maintenance costs. The design will also operate without the need for
outside energy and be low maintenance.

Societal Issues
The design does not address societal issues in the traditional manner. Rather than addressing existing
problems, it prevents issues from arising in the future. Stormwater is often managed by diverting it off site,
which often affects people who dont have the resources to manage it. This design responsibly manages
stormwater to prevent other people from being forced to address a problem that they had no part in creating.
The design will also encourage social equity by allowing residents to spend time together in a natural
environment, which encourages learning and thereby broadening social horizons.

Carbon and Water Footprint

The final product of this design will be carbon negative as the plants growing in the vegetated
infiltration features will sequester carbon (Klotz 2013). The development and installation of the design will

involve carbon emissions but ongoing operation will be emission free with the only emissions associated
with the project coming from occasional maintenance. The design will also require minimal irrigation while
allowing for water storage to reduce potable water for other irrigation uses.

After analyzing the total rainfall over the entire residential development there will be an increase of
approximately 0.3 million gallons for a 2-year storm and 0.5 million gallons for a 25- year storm. In each lot
there was an increase of about 1,027 cubic feet and 1,574 cubic feet for a 2 and 25 year storm, respectively.
The focus of this report was on containing the water found within each lot by analyzing effectiveness,
comparing cost, and determining total water storage capacity of low impact development methods. SWMM
modeling software will be used to determine the most effective combination of these low impact
development methods, the client and costs will also help determine which methods are utilized in the
residential lots.

The detailed timeline produced for this design process is in the format of a Gantt Chart and can be found in
Appendix D.

A preliminary budget is presented in Appendix E.

Alexander, M.D., Barfield, B.J., Bates, B/T/, Chalavadi, M., Harp, S.L., Hayes, J.C., Stevens, E. 2008.
Modeling Impacts of Post Development Water Quality BMPs. 21st Century Watershed Technology:
Improving Water Quality and Environment, Proceedings of the 29 March-3 April 2008 Conference.
Best Management Practices Handbook. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Blount, J., Storey, A., Talbott, M.D. 2011. Harris COunty Low Impact Development Green Infrastructure
Design Criteria for Stormwater Management. Adopted by Harris County Commissioners Court.
Bosch, T., Borghi, V., Watson, J., Miranda, M. 2004. Life Cycle Assessment of PVC and of Principal
Competing Materials. Commissioned by European Commission.
Burke, M.K., Hitchcock, D.R., Lewitus, A.J., Strosnider, W.H., 2007. Predicting Hydrology in Wetlands
Designed for Coastal Stormwater Management. An ASABE Meeting Presentation, Paper Number 077084.
Bonta, J.V. 2012. Managing Landscape Disturbances to Increase Watershed Infiltration. American Society of
Agricultural and BIological Engineers. 56(4): 1349-1359.
Carolina Yards Plant Database. 2014. Clemson University Cooperative Experience.
Clary, J., Earles, A., Poresky, A., Strecker, E. 2011. Technical Summary: Volume Reduction. International
Stormwater Best management Practices (BMP) Database.
Clary, J., Hobson, P., Leisenring, M. 2012. TSS, Bacteria, Nutrients, and Metals. International Stormwater
Best Management Practices (BMP) Database Pollutant Category Summary.
Darnault, C., 2014. Ecological Engineering Class Notes. Unpublished.
DuPont. 2014. Sonora Life Cycle Assessment.
Extensive Green Roofs: Design and Installation Guide. Nophadrain. Dutch Green Building Council.
Fangmeier, D.D., Elliot, W.J., Huffman, R.L., Workman, S.R. 2013. Wetlands. Soil and Water Conservation
Engineering. Seventh Edition. 287-302.
Fangmeier, D.D., Elliot, W.J., Huffman, R.L., Workman, S.R. 2013. Precipitation. Soil and Water
Conservation Engineering. Seventh Edition. 31-54.
Fangmeier, D.D., Elliot, W.J., Huffman, R.L., Workman, S.R. 2013. Infiltration and Runoff. Soil and Water
Conservation Engineering. Seventh Edition. 81-111.
Green Roofs. Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina. North Inlet- Winyah Bay: National
Estuarine Research Reserve.
Hammond, G., Jones, C. 2008. University of Bath. Inventory of Carbon and Energy.

Hunt, W.F., Collins, K.A. NCSU Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. PermPave.
Infiltration Trenches. Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual. Metropolitan Council / Barr Engineering
Kaemmerlen, B. 2008. Fuss & ONeill. LCSC Rain Garden Workshop.
Klotz, L., 2013. Sustainable Construction Class Notes. Unpublished.
Jaber, Woodson, LaChance, and York. Texas A & M AgriLife Extension. Stormwater Management: Rain
Robinson, J., 2014. Personal Communication.
Mariam, A., Gozde, O., Ramazan, K., Rajedran, Hodzic, A. Life Cycle Assessment of Particulate Recycled
Low Density Polyethylene and Recycled Polypropylene Reinforced with Talc and Fiberglass.
Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual. Metropolitan Council / Barr Engineering Co.
Mille, C. 2012. Extensive Vegetative Roofs. Whole Building Design Guide.
Prince Georges County, Maryland. 1999. Low Impact Development Hydrologic Analysis. Department of
Environmental Resources Programs and Planning Division.
Baitz and Bryne,
Raja, F.D., Vijayaraghavan, K. 2014. Design and Development of Green Roof Substrate to Improve Runoff
Water Quality: Plant Growth Experiments and Adsorption. Water Research, 63: 94-101.
Rutgers University. Rain Garden Design.
Treatment Wetlands. Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual. Metropolitan Council / Barr Engineering
UN WCED. 1987. Our Common Future. Report of the World Commission on Environment and
Development. New York, NY. United Nations, World Commission on Environment and Development.
Virginia Division of Environmental Quality. 2011. Bioretention, Stormwater Design Specification No. 9.

Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: A Planning and Design Guide. Guide to
Stormwater Best Management Practices. Chapter 4.

Appendix A
Energy Balance
P= Pressure (N)
V= Volume (m3)
v= velocity (m/s)
m= mass (kg)
H= Height (m)
g= gravity, 9.81 m/s2

!! ! + !!!! + mg! = !! V + m!!! + mg!

Mass Balance
Curve Number Method

!"##!" !"##!"# !"#$%&'!" = !""#$#%!&'()


CN= curve number

I= Precipitation (in)
Hortons Equation

!!!.!! !



! = !! + (!! !! )! !!"

f=infiltration rate with time (in/hr)

fc= initial infiltration rate (in/hr)
f0= final infiltration rate (in/hr)
k= measure of decrease rate in the infiltration rate
t=time (s)
Universal Soil Loss Equation

T= soil loss (ton/acre/yr)
R= rainfall factor
K= soil erodibility factor
LS= Slope length factor
C=cropping-management factor
P=conservation practices factor
Green-Ampt Equation

!! !! (! ! )
! !!

F= Total infiltration depth (in)

Ka= saturated hydraulic conductivity (in/hr)
Sw= Soil water suction (negative pressure at wetting front)
a= saturated moisture content
i= initial moisture content
I= rainfall intensity (in/hr)



Darcys Law
! = !"


q= volumetric flow rate (m3/s)

A= area (m2)
K= hydraulic conductivity (m/s)
dh/ds= hydraulic gradient (hydraulic head[m]/length[m])

Cummulative Rainfall (in)

Appendix B






Time (hours)

Figure B1: Rain Fall Distribution Graph for a 2-year storm

Cummulative Rainfall (in)





Time (hours)

Figure B2: Rain Fall Distribution Graph for a 25-year storm



Image B3: Hand calculations to determine total runoff pre-development for a 2-, 10-, and 25-year storm

Image B3: Hand calculations to determine runoff amount on each individual lot
Table B4: Engineered soil media composition (Raja et al., 2014)

Particle Size (mm)
Dry Bulk Density (kg/m3)
Bulk Density at maximum
water holding capacity
Water Holding Capacity (%)
Hydraulic Conductivity
Percent in Engineered Mix

Vermiculite Perlite

















Image B5: Hand calculations to determine storage capacity of the vegetative roof

Image B6: Hand calculations to determine rooftop runoff

Image B7: Hand calculations to determine lot specific runoff

Image B8: Hand calculations to determine central water storage volume

Image B9: Hand Calculations to determine design parameters of a tradition basin

Image B10: Hand calculations to determine the storage volume of an infiltration trench

Image B11: Hand calculations for rain gardens

Table B11: Total Storage Needed on Site

Design Storm

2 year
25 year

Runoff Depth

Runoff Depth



Increase in
Runoff Depth
(with no LID
controls) (in)

Table B12: Total Storage and Cost for Each LID Option
Water Storage Capacities of LID Methods
Roof (gal)
Trench (gal)
Pavement (gal)

Runoff Volume


Total Water
Storage (gal)

Appendix C

Image 1C: Input values into HEC HMS to determine pre-development runoff values

Image 2C: Input values into HEC HMS to determine post-development runoff values

Image 3C: Determining Input value for HEC HMS including time of concentration and lag time

Figure C1 and C2: HEC HMS results for a 2-year pre-development storm

Figure C3 and C4: HEC HMS results for a 2-year post-development storm

Figure C5 and C6: HEC HMS results for a 25-year pre development storm

Figure C7 and C8: HEC HMS results for a 25-year post development storm

Appendix D:
Finish Proposal
Present Proposal
Finish majority of Literature Review
Pick Design
Start Writing Midterm Paper
3- week progress report
Develop preliminary Design
Calculations for Design
Finish Writing Midterm paper
Midterm Presentation and paper due
Cost Analysis for Design
Bring together final design
Write Final Paper
Final Presentation




10/1 10/7


10/15 10/22 10/29 11/5 11/12 11/19 11/26 12/3

Appendix E:
Table E1: Vegetative Roof Budget Breakdown

Potential Cost
















Crushed Brick
Drainage Layer
Root Protection Layer




Filter Fabric






Waterproof Layer


Sources for cost: Charleston Landscape Supplies,,, Classy Ground
Covers, Kempf Supplies Company
Table E2: Infiltration Trench Budget
Infiltration Trench
Filter Fabric
Table E3: Budget Breakdown for the Rain Barrels per lot
Rain Barrel
Downspout Diverter
$ 30.00
Barrel Connector Kit
Price per set up of 2 linked
$ 551.45
Price for garage and house set up
$ 1,102.90
Table E4: Porous Pavement Budget
Porous Pavement

Table E5: Rain Garden Budget
Rain Garden
Mulch $40/yd3
Plants Estimated