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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating the Hydrologic Benefits of a Bioswale in Brunswick County, North Carolina (NC), USA

Atkins Engineering SNC-Lavalin, Raleigh, NC 27609, USA
Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC 27610, USA
AECOM, Morrisville, NC 27560, USA
Department of Coastal and Marine Systems Science, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC 29528, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1291;
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
Bioswales are a promising stormwater control measure (SCM) for roadway runoff management, but few studies have assessed performance on a field scale. A bioswale is a vegetated channel with underlying engineered media and a perforated underdrain to promote improved hydrologic and water quality treatment. A bioswale with a rip-rap lined forebay was constructed along state highway NC 211 in Bolivia, North Carolina, USA, and monitored for 12 months. Thirty-seven of the 39 monitored rain events exfiltrated into underlying soils, resulting in no appreciable overflow or underdrain volume. The bioswale completely exfiltrated a storm event of 86.1 mm. The one event to have underdrain-only flow was 4.8 mm. The largest and third-largest rainfall depth events (82.6 and 146 mm, respectively) had a large percentage (85%) of volume exfiltrated, but also had appreciable overflow and underdrain volumes exiting the bioswale, resulting in no peak flow mitigation. Overall, this bioswale design was able to capture and manage storms larger than the design storm (38 mm), showing the positive hydrologic performance that can be achieved by this bioswale. The high treatment capabilities were likely due to the high infiltration rate of the media and the underlying soil, longer forebay underlain with media, gravel detention layer with an underdrain, and shallow slope. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioretention; bioswale; hydrology; runoff; stormwater bioretention; bioswale; hydrology; runoff; stormwater
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Purvis, R.A.; Winston, R.J.; Hunt, W.F.; Lipscomb, B.; Narayanaswamy, K.; McDaniel, A.; Lauffer, M.S.; Libes, S. Evaluating the Hydrologic Benefits of a Bioswale in Brunswick County, North Carolina (NC), USA. Water 2019, 11, 1291.

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