The pollutant removal performance of three separate stormwater biofiltration systems in two different climates was assessed. At one of the sites, rain events were simulated, while actual runoff events were monitored at the other two sites. In all cases, concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS), copper, lead and zinc were effectively and reliably reduced, despite variations in inflow concentrations. Two biofiltration systems also effectively reduced phosphorus concentrations, however the third system discharged elevated phosphorus concentrations relative to inflow; this is attributed to poor specification of filter media properties. Effluent nitrogen concentrations were more variable at all sites and ranged from being substantially lower to considerably higher than inflow concentrations. Flow was also measured at two sites, where it was determined that volumetric reductions in runoff further improved pollutant removal. TSS and heavy metals will be reliably removed by a wide range of soil-based filter media, as will phopshorus, as long as the phosphorus content of the filter media is low. However, nitrogen removal remains a challenge because it is easily transformed to soluble forms and is influenced by wetting and drying. These results are essentially consistent with related laboratory studies.

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