Selecting a green roof medium for water quality benefits

Brett Long, Shirley E. Clark, Katherine H. Baker, Robert Berghage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Green roofing is a best management practice for urban areas where land for traditional stormwater practices is unavailable. However, it is unknown how effective they are at treating stormwater. The two primary research objectives are the following: 1. To develop an effective media for green roofs that will improve roof runoff quality while maintaining the known water retention benefits of green roofs, and 2. To demonstrate that green roofing will generate lesser pollutant loadings into urban runoff than traditional roofing materials. In Phase I (currently ongoing), several green roof media (formulated from commonly-used expanded minerals, stormwater filter media, and organic matter) are being evaluated for their abilities to retain the pollutants from a synthetic acid rain. The samples are being analyzed for metals, nutrients, pH, and conductivity. The hypothesis is that one media will be "better" at pollutant removal and permanent retention. In Phase II, once the optimized media has been selected, it will be field-tested on a green roof. The water quality of the runoff from the green roof will be compared with the runoff quality from a traditional roof. Field testing will address two objectives: 1. The media is capable of supporting the green roof plants, and 2. The anticipated removals (including water retention) are actually seen in the field. Phase I results on the mineral portion of the future media mix demonstrates all media were able to neutralize the acid rain. Comparing the media for pollutant removal and retention, the expanded shale was best able to retain phosphorus, ammonia, and metals from the synthetic acid rain. Phase I results on the mineral and additive combinations show the expanded shale and granulated activated carbon mix to be the most effective at pollutant removal and retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRestoring Our Natural Habitat - Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Event2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress: Restoring Our Natural Habitat - Tampa, FL, United States
Duration: May 15 2007May 19 2007

Publication series

NameRestoring Our Natural Habitat - Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress

Other

Other2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress: Restoring Our Natural Habitat
CountryUnited States
CityTampa, FL
Period5/15/075/19/07

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

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  • Cite this

    Long, B., Clark, S. E., Baker, K. H., & Berghage, R. (2007). Selecting a green roof medium for water quality benefits. In Restoring Our Natural Habitat - Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress (Restoring Our Natural Habitat - Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress).