Bioretention basin project wins EVE Provost's MQP Award

The Provost's MQP Awards offer recognition to those students who have completed outstanding Major Qualifying Projects as a demonstration of their competency in a chosen academic discipline. The winning team in Environmental Engineering for 2013 is Max Schrader, Ian Weyburne, Cassandra Stacy and Bryan LaRochelle (pictured, left to right) for their project "Bioretention Basin Removal Efficiencies: An Evaluation of Stormwater Best Management Practice Effectiveness and Implications for Design."

The project was completed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and advised by Professor Paul Mathisen. This project addressed the design and effectiveness of biofiltration basins, which are widely used as Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control quality of stormwater runoff entering surface water bodies. Although these basins are widely installed, their effectiveness in removing pollutants is not clear. Since pollutants from stormwater can impact the Wachusett Reservoir, an important component of Metropolitan Boston’s water supply, the topic is of great interest for the DCR. 

The goal of the project was to evaluate the effectiveness of two basins adjacent to the reservoir and develop recommendations for designing these basins. The team designed a field sampling and monitoring program, completed laboratory analyses, and used HydroCad software to characterize the nature of the flow in all basins. By developing a field program that characterized the response of multiple biofiltration basins, and applying design procedures for a different location, the students developed an approach that incorporated the findings from other basins. The students found that nutrients and bacteria are important constituents of concern, and they also demonstrated the value of infiltration as a design technique for controlling pollution. Congratulations to the team on their excellent project.

May 2, 2013

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