Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Dr. Josef Gorres
Winooski River Basin, Lawns, TR-55, curve number, runoff
A staple in our suburban society, lawns occupy an important role in urban and suburban hydrology. This thesis investigates the potential impact of lawn quality on the total runoff volume for a given area after storm events. The study focuses on residential lots with areas between ⅛ - and 3 acres, identified using state tax parcel data. Using the TR-55 Curve number methods the mean curve numbers and total runoff volumes were calculated for each section and scenario parameter. Hydrologic Soil Groups and land cover types were used in the determination of initial curve numbers and the TR-55 curve number method was modified to apply to residential lawns. The study was split into three sections: Sections 1 and 2 focuses on the lawns within the Chittenden County portion of the Winooski River Basin in the State of Vermont. Section 1 models how the change of lawn conditions impacts total runoff volume for the areas. Section 2 focuses on changing only certain percentages of lawns to fit certain lawn quality criteria. In Section 3 the mean curve number change and total runoff volume for theoretical residential subdivisions and individual homes were analyzed. It was found that as the lawn qualities increased the total runoff volume from storm events decreased. The larger the residential lot size the greater the total runoff volume, and the greater the percent change when lawns were improved. This decrease was more pronounced in smaller-sized storm events. Although improving lawn quality was seen to have a smaller effect on the Winooski River Basin, improved lawn quality can have a significant impact on total runoff volume for subdivisions and individual homes.
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Parks, Emma L., "American Landscape: How Suburban Lawns Impact Surface Runoff Volume" (2021). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 429.