Impacts of Soil Texture, Structure, and Compaction on Bioinfiltration Device Performance: Results of Lab and Field Investigations

Redahegn Sileshi, Robert Pitt, Shirley Clark

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

1 Scopus citations


Biofiltration devices are a potentially effective option for the treatment and disposal of stormwater runoff from urban areas. However, the performance of these systems, and other infiltration devices, are affected by factors such as the texture, structure, and degree of compaction of the media during their construction. This paper presents the results of laboratory and field-scale studies conducted to provide insight on media characteristics of a poorly operating biofilter facility located in Tuscaloosa, AL. Double ring infiltrometer tests and soil compaction measurements were conducted along a large biofilter to determine the in-situ characteristics of the media. Infiltration measurements were also made during rain events for comparison to the results from the lab tests and the double-ring infiltration measurements. The effects of different compaction levels on the infiltration rates through the soil media were also examined during laboratory column tests, along with benefits associated with adding sand to the media mixture. The results indicated that soil compaction has dramatic effects on the infiltration rates; therefore, care needs to be taken during stormwater treatment facilities' construction to minimize detrimental compaction effects. Adding sand to a media having large fractions of clay-sized particles helps minimize the detrimental effects of compaction on the infiltration rates also.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign Methods and Case Studies
EditorsMichael L. Clar, Robert G. Traver, Shirley E. Clark, Shannon Lucas, Keith Lichten, Michael A. Ports, Aaron Poretsky
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780784413883
StatePublished - 2015
Event2011 Low Impact Development Conference: Implementation and Economics - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Sep 25 2011Sep 28 2011

Publication series

NameLow Impact Development Technology: Implementation and Economics


Conference2011 Low Impact Development Conference: Implementation and Economics
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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