Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Stephanie E. Hurley


Bioretention systems, a common green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) installation for developed landscapes uses engineered soil media to capture and remove pollutants from stormwate. GSI focuses on intercepting and storing large volumes of stormwater runoff before it reaches downstream water bodies, removing these pollutants from runoff offers a potential solution to urban water quality issues.This study explores the use of woodchips and aluminum-rich drinking water treatment residuals (DWTR) as soil media amendments in bioretention systems. The first chapter offers a review of literature involving bioretention systems, vegetation used in them, and the soil media components included in this study. The second chapter evaluates the performance of twelve bioretention mesocosms’ capacities to filter and remove pollutants from stormwater runoff to improve water quality. Three replicates each of four “soil media” treatments (sand-only, topsoil+sand, topsoil+sand+woodchips, and topsoil+sand+DWTR) were subjected to simulated stormwater events, and the effluent water from each mesocosm was analyzed for nutrients and heavy metals. Differences in effluent pollutant concentrations from the synthetic stormwater influent gives insight into the effectiveness of the soil media amendments. The third chapter evaluates plant health across the bioretention soil media treatments for four vegetation types: Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), and Blue Star Flower (Amsonia tabernaemontana). Vegetation health was assessed using measurements of vegetation height, survival, and percent green cover of the mesocosms’ surfaces.



Number of Pages

117 p.

Available for download on Thursday, January 09, 2025

Included in

Soil Science Commons