Biofiltration systems are an effective stormwater treatment technology. However, their robustness is yet to be tested, particularly their performance following extended dry periods. The hydraulic and treatment performance of five different non-vegetated, soil-based filters under varying periods of inundation and drying was assessed. The infiltration capacity of the filters decreased during wet periods and increased following dry periods, most probably due to swelling and shrinkage of the filter media. Treatment of sediment, heavy metals and phosphorus was not influenced by the wetting and drying regime. However, outflow concentrations of nitrogen were significantly higher upon re-wetting following extended dry periods compared with wet periods. This result has implications for current design practices, as these nitrogen pulses could negatively impact the ecological health of downstream receiving waters.

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