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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: Modeling sedimentation-filtration basins for urban watersheds using Soil and Water Assessment Tool

item Jeong, Jaehak
item Kannan, Narayanan
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Glick, Roger
item Gosselink, Leila
item Srinivasan, Raghavan
item Barrett, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2012
Publication Date: 6/1/2013
Citation: Jeong, J., Kannan, N., Arnold, J.G., Glick, R., Gosselink, L., Srinivasan, R., Barrett, M.E. 2013. Modeling sedimentation-filtration basins for urban watersheds using Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Journal of Environmental Engineering. 139(6):838-848.

Interpretive Summary: Holistic watershed planning requires understanding of management and climate impacts on all land uses within a watershed including urban areas. A common management practice used to mitigate water quality in urban streams are sedimentation-filtration basins. A new physically based model of water flow and sediment and organic deposition in sedimentation-filtration basins was developed and integrated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The model was validated with measured data from the City of Austin. The new model provides a tool to determine the impact of a common urban best management practice (sedimentation-filtration basins) on water quality within a complex watershed.

Technical Abstract: Sedimentation-filtration (SedFil) basins are one of the storm-water best management practices (BMPs) that are intended to mitigate water quality problems in urban creeks and rivers. A new physically based model of variably saturated flows was developed for simulating flow and sediment in SedFils within the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The integrated SWAT-SedFil model allows for simulation of unsaturated flow in the filtration basin during small storms and fully saturated flow. Unsaturated flow was modeled using a modified Green and Ampt equation, and saturated flow was simulated with Darcy’s Law. Unsaturated flow comprises only a small fraction of large storm events; however, many regular storms are small and may not generate sufficient runoff to create a saturated flow in the filtration basin. Therefore, the combined unsaturated/saturated flow approach for modeling SedFils improved the accuracy of the model, especially in long-term evaluations. The model performs well with respect to estimating storm-water and sediment at the inlet and outlet of a SedFil.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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