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Modeling Impacts of Construction during Urban Development

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 29 March - 3 April 2008, Concepcion, Chile  701P0208cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.24319)
Authors:   S L Harp, B J Barfield, J C Hayes, S Yeri, E W Stevens, M D Alexander, B T Bates
Keywords:   sediment, best management practices, erosion control, hydrologic modeling

A discussion is given of the selection and the impacts of best management practices for water quality improvement as land cover changes during urban development within a rapidly developing area (Greenville County, SC, USA)... The model used for analysis, SEDPRO features many innovative routines including a graphical interface with drag and drop placement of subwatersheds, best management practices (BMPs), and conveyances. Drag and drop allows the user to place numerous BMPs at points throughout the watershed and evaluate trapping efficiency of individual BMPs as well as the entire treatment train. Flow and sediment related aspects are compared during construction for a variety of BMPs in order to demonstrate real world and regulatory uses and limitations. BMPs discussed include traditional practices like sediment ponds, sediment traps, silt fence and rock ditch checks but also include practices like a newly developed silt fence, sand filters, engineered devices, and forebays. SEDPRO can predict sediment loadings from watersheds in transition from undisturbed through developed conditions and evaluates impact of stormwater and sediment control practices. SEDPRO predicts sediment yield by dividing particles into multiple classes which are subsequently divided into subclasses. Trapping can be estimated for many narrow ranges of particle diameters rather than for a few diameters as done in previous models. This process allows sediment sizes for flows coming from many areas to be combined into a particle size distribution that can be evaluated at any point along the flow path. Since particle size has major influence on settling velocity and ultimately trapping efficiency, this feature is critical to determining whether trapping occurs within a given BMP. Transport from each of the subwatersheds, BMPs, and conveyances is calculated and used to determine sediment loads moving downstream. In addition to peak discharge, trapping efficiency, and sediment discharge, SEDPRO also predicts discharged settleable solids.

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