Modeling Urban Storm-Water Quality Treatment: Model Development and Application to a Surface Sand Filter


A mathematical and statistical model for simulating contaminant removal from a surface sand filter is reported. The model was based on a mass balance equation and an advection-dispersion transport model. The unknown parameters of the model were the deposition rate and the hydrodynamic dispersion. Changes in space were allowed within the filter media depth and time variability of flow and influent contaminant concentration were taken into account. System field monitoring was performed between 2004 and 2006. A total of 17 storms were selected for the study. Runoff constituent analyses included: total suspended solids, total petroleum hydrocarbons-diesel range hydrocarbons, and zinc. The objective was to explore the capabilities of a two parameter model for predicting effluent contaminant concentrations. Optimized model parameter values were calculated on a storm by storm basis. Thereafter, a gamma distribution was fitted to the optimized values. A Monte Carlo simulation was performed to explore the predicting capabilities of the model by using two storms left for validation. Results of the validation phase show an acceptable performance of the model since, in general, estimated effluent concentrations fell within the uncertainty limits.

Publication Date



American Society of Civil Engineers

Journal Title

Journal of Environmental Engineering

Document Type



© 2010 ASCE