Wisconsin Water Science Center

Urban Water Quality

Filter Total Items: 11
Photo of stormwater runoff flowing into a storm drain
Date Published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring

The GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring effort brings together the expertise of the USGS with local and national partners to assess the ability of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in Great Lakes urban areas.

Slideshow of Gary City Hall, before and after redevelopment with green infrastructure
Date Published: March 27, 2016
Status: Active

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Gary City Hall (Gary, Ind.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (rain gardens and decreased impervious surfaces) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at a redevelopment project at Gary City Hall (Gary, Indiana). This study will evaluate pre- and post-construction hydrologic conditions using data collected by monitoring storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and meteorological conditions....

Contacts: David C Lampe (IN), Brenda Scott-Henry
Photo of minor street flooding along Niagara Street in Buffalo, New York
Date Published: March 27, 2016
Status: Active

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Niagara River Greenway Project (Buffalo, NY)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (porous asphalt, planter boxes, rain gardens, and the removal of impervious pavements) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at the Niagara Street redevelopment project in Buffalo, New York. This study will monitor pre- and post-construction storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, evapotranspiration, precipitation, and soil moisture.

Contacts: Brett Hayhurst, Valerie E Shao, Julie Barrett O'Neill
Illustration of typical green infrastructure installation for RecoveryPark
Date Published: March 27, 2016
Status: Active

Assessing stormwater reduction through green infrastructure: RecoveryPark (Detroit, Mich.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (including urban land conversion and bioswales) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at RecoveryPark, a redeveloped urban farm in Detroit, Michigan. This study will monitor pre- and post-construction storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration.

Contacts: Chris Hoard, Stephanie Beeler, Ralph Haefner, Danielle Green, Bill Shuster, Donald Carpenter, Gary Wozniak
Photo of a snow plow with a load of road salt
Date Published: March 26, 2016

Evaluating chloride trends due to road-salt use and its impacts on water quality and aquatic organisms

Chloride, a key component of road salt, is soluble, highly mobile in water, and, at high concentrations, can be toxic to aquatic vegetation and wildlife. USGS scientists have been analyzing temporal, seasonal, and environmental trends in chloride concentrations across the U.S. to determine the effects that road salt may be having on water quality and aquatic organisms.

Photo of the depth-integrated sample arm (DISA)
Date Published: March 25, 2016

Particle-size distribution from urban land use and source areas

Many control options for sediments and associated contaminants in storm-water runoff from urban areas rely on settling of solids. This study characterizes particle-size distributions in urban storm-water runoff from specific source areas and land-use categories, with the hopes of assisting watershed managers and engineers design better control devices for reducing sediment in urban runoff.

Final installation of permeable pavement study test plots
Date Published: March 24, 2016

Evaluating the potential benefits of permeable pavement on the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff

Permeable pavement is a porous urban surface which catches precipitation and surface runoff, storing it in the reservoir while slowly allowing it to infiltrate into the soil below. This study will evaluate how well different types of permeable pavement reduces the amount of pollutants and runoff volume.

Photgraph of USGS employee surveying snowbanks at General Mitchell International Airport
Date Published: March 23, 2016

Evaluating the impacts of aircraft deicers in runoff from General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, Wis.

Chemicals used to deice planes at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee may be entering nearby streams in concentrations that may be harmful to aquatic life. This project will investigate the toxicity of decing chemicals, evaluate their impact on receiving streams, and assess changes in water quality in response to the implementation of deicer management at General Mitchell...

Contacts: Steven R Corsi
Photograph of Pheasant Branch Creek at U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging station (05427948),
Date Published: March 22, 2016

Dane County water-quality monitoring program

Many Dane County, Wis., streams and lakes have been degraded due to excessive nutrients and sediment contributed primarily by agriculture and urbanization. The goal is to build a long-term base of streamflow, lake stage, and water-quality data essential for water-resource planning and assessment purposes for streams and lakes in Dane County, with a focus on the Yahara River Basin.

Photo of the biofilter at the USGS WI WSC office
Date Published: March 6, 2016

WinSLAMM (Source Loading And Management Model): An urban area nonpoint source water-quality model for Wisconsin

The WinSLAMM model is used to identify sources of pollutants in urban stormwater runoff and to evaluate management alternatives for reducing pollutants. USGS studies provide stormwater flow and pollutant-concentration data for calibrating and verifying WinSLAMM for use in Wisconsin.

Screenshot of the homepage of the "Western Lake Michigan Drainages (WMIC) NAWQA Study Unit" archived website
Date Published: February 15, 2016

Western Lake Michigan NAWQA Study Unit

Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit in Wisconsin and Michigan was part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program during Cycle 1 and 2. Research in this study unit included assessments of surface water and ecology, groundwater, urbanization effects, and mercury.