" BES Project Abstracts 2006
Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2006 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Watershed 263 Small Headwater Storm Drain Catchment Hydrology: Ultra Urban Hotspot?
Belt, Kenneth
Co-Authors: K. T. Belt, W. P. Stack, R. V. Pouyat, G. T. Fisher, G. Heisler, P. M. Groffman
Abstract: The hydrology of two ultra-urban (70 % impervious cover) residential 15 ha headwater storm drain catchments in Watershed 263 (Baltimore City, MD) is being studied with continuous temperature recorders, stage and velocity gauges, and automated flow paced samplers. The basic objectives of the study are to follow these two neighboring catchments long term to evaluate changes due to the introduction of various structural and operational BMPs in terms of: 1) alterations in flow volume and rate, and 2) changes in water quality constituents, as well as to examine source areas and the utility of high resolution hydrologic and ecological models in evaluating BMP effectiveness over time. We present baseline dry weather and storm data collected at the Baltimore and Lanvale Street gauging stations that reveal a dynamic thermal system with high bacterial concentrations and large nutrient and metal loads which suggest that older, ultra-urban residential catchments may be hotspots in terms of concentrations as well as runoff load exports. For example dissolved Cu and Zn (17 and 77 ug/l) and nitrate-nitrate N and total phosphorus (5.6 and 0.46 mg/l) storm EMC medians at Baltimore St. are much greater than medians for residential areas in the National Stormwater Quality Database (3.0 and 31.5 ug/l and 0.6 and 0.30 mg/l). We describe the current water quality dataset and discuss how these two inner city sites compare to suburban, forested and agricultural catchments in the Baltimore metropolitan area as well as regional and national datasets.