The Stormwater Group (SWG), formed in 1998, is a subgroup of the Urban Water Consortium and consists of the nine municipal UWC members that also have municipal stormwater programs. This group sponsors research and technology transfer on urban stormwater and management issues. Member utilities contribute annual dues and enhancement funds that are used to support research. Members benefit from opportunities to share, learn and discuss common concerns through quarterly meetings. The SWG considers research proposals that are submitted as part of WRRI’s annual RFP and proposals developed through direct coordination between researchers and consortium members. We welcome researchers to share their ideas for utility-related research. Please contact Nicole Wilkinson or one of the SWG’s member voting representatives to discuss your ideas.
The SWG’s research priorities fall into the following categories, though the group will consider research proposals on other stormwater issues of importance to in North Carolina.
Low impact development
How do the lifecycle costs and benefits of low impact development (LID) compare to conventional development in new, retrofit, and redevelopment applications, particularly regarding LID for stormwater treatment in urban settings? What are the short-term and long-term implementation and maintenance cost and benefits of LID for developers, municipalities, communities, and individuals compared to that of conventional stormwater control measures (SCMs)? What is the short-term and long-term effectiveness of low impact development, specifically as related to stormwater treatment, costs and benefits, and water quality improvement? How can low impact development be encouraged and incentivized in North Carolina? For the questions above, how do costs and benefits for LID and conventional development compare across the different regions of the State?
Impervious cover impacts & mitigation
How can we quantifiably mitigate the effects of impervious cover on water quality and aquatic life in different urban stream settings and stormwater systems? What realistic management measures (including stream restoration practices, riparian buffers, and floodplain-stream reconnection) exist or can be further evaluated to address effects of impervious cover? How can watershed restoration activities be implemented to achieve macroinvertebrate recovery and recolonization?
Pollutant removal processes and credits
How should pollutant removal credits be determined and evaluated for urban stormwater control measures (SCMs) and stream restoration practices, in particular those aimed at managing nutrients, pathogens, and sediment? How can we better understand the processes by which SCMs remove contaminants from stormwater and reduce impacts to receiving streams? Specifically for the state of North Carolina, and its physiographic regions (mountains, piedmont, and coastal plain), what location-based methods and criteria can be developed for evaluating SCM and stream restoration performance, credit accounting, and removal rates for pollutants (particularly nutrients, pathogens, and sediment)?
To view a comprehensive list of projects funded by the SWG, please visit the WRRI technical reports repository where all final project reports are housed. Type “Stormwater+Group” in the “Search for” box.
Recent projects supported by the SWG include:
- A review of biological condition ratings in urban settings in North Carolina by PI Michael Paul, Tetra Tech
- Nutrient and Carbon Loading in Gross Solids in Urban Catch Basins: A Nutrient Accounting Opportunity? by PI Bill Hunt, NC State University