Compacted urban soils effects on infiltration and bioretention stormwater control designs

Robert Pitt, Shen En Chen, Shirley Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations


Prior research by Pitt (1987) examined runoff losses from paved and roofed surfaces in urban areas and showed significant losses at these surfaces during the small and moderate sized events of most interest for water quality evaluations. However, Pitt and Durrans (1995) also examined runoff and pavement seepage on highway pavements and found that very little surface runoff entered typical highway pavement. During earlier research, it was also found that disturbed urban soils do not behave as indicated by most stormwater models. Additional tests were therefore conducted to investigate detailed infiltration behavior of disturbed urban soils. The effects of urbanization on soil structure can be extensive. Infiltration of rain water through soils can be greatly reduced, plus the benefits of infiltration and bioretention devices can be jeopardized. Basic infiltration measurements in disturbed urban soils were conducted during an EPA-sponsored project by Pitt, et al (1999a), along with examining hydraulic and water quality benefits of amending these soils with organic composts. Prior EPA-funded research examined the potential of groundwater contamination by infiltrating stormwater (Pitt, et al, 1994, 1996, and 1999b). In addition to the information obtained during these research projects, numerous student projects have also been conduced to examine other aspects of urban soils, especially more detailed tests examining soil density and infiltration during lab-scale tests, and methods and techniques to recover infiltration capacity of urban soils. This paper is a summary of this recently collected information and it is hoped that it will prove useful to both stormwater practice designers and to modelers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlobal Solutions for Urban Drainage
EditorsE.W. Strecker, W.C. Huber
PublisherASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)0784406448, 9780784406441
StatePublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the Ninth International Conference on: Urban Drainage - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Sep 8 2002Sep 13 2002

Publication series

NameGlobal Solutions for Urban Drainage


OtherProceedings of the Ninth International Conference on: Urban Drainage
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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