Stormwater Biofilter Media Performance Updates for WinSLAMM: Data Summary for Unit Process Components, Example Calculations and Model Use

R. Pitt, S. E. Clark, R. Sileshi, J. Voorhees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on specific information needed to model various aspects of the pollutant retention processes in stormwater biofilters. Updates currently being incorporated in WinSLAMM (Source Loading and Management Model) are building on expanded data from laboratory and field research mostly conducted by Pitt’s research group at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, by Dr. Shirley Clark’s research group at Penn State–Harrisburg, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey (DNR/USGS). These processes and data can be used in manual calculations or other models. Extensive summaries of these data sources and associated statistical analyses, plus additional references, are included in an online white paper available at the PV & Assoc. website. These tests were conducted to provide the details needed for modeling the performance of biofilters, specifically focusing on: methods to predict treatment flow rates through the media; particulate and associated particulate bound pollutant retention for several particle sizes; maintenance requirements due to sediment clogging and pollutant breakthrough; and retention of filterable pollutants. This multiyear research program also examined issues not commonly described in the biofilter performance literature, such as failure due to excessive salt loadings on media having large amounts of fines, problems associated with compaction of the media, and leaching of previously captured material from the media. This paper consolidates the information from many prior research projects and dissertations and illustrates how these data can be used together for calculating the benefits of stormwater biofilter systems. This paper summarizes the data and the major calculation components to determine biofilter performance. This is followed by a numeric example using these data along with a description of how WinSLAMM describes a biofilter installation and an example development of a production function to assist in the design and evaluation of biofilter options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC477
JournalJournal of Water Management Modeling
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology


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