William Fish

Date of Award

Winter 4-18-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 101 pages)


Runoff -- Oregon -- Portland -- Management, Urban runoff - Management -- Statistical methods, Runoff -- Washington (State) -- Management




Stormwater treatment is commonly performed with a combination of approaches including the utilization of natural systems and engineered devices. Before using a proprietary treatment instrument it is required to verify its performance and efficiency in reducing different pollution components including the TSS. Different states have developed strategies and regulations for accepting new instruments. In this thesis the stormwater management plan of the City of Portland, Oregon(2008), is analyzed in order to improve the current regulations. These rules apply to new technologies which are proposed by vendors to be used in Portland's stormwater treatment plans. Each requirement which should be met by the applying vendors is thoroughly analyzed followed by a comparison with the Stormwater management plan(2008)regulations of the state of Washington the so called Technology Assessment Plan-Ecology TAPE (Howie, 2011). Because of the similarities in the climate and land use between these two testing frameworks in order to evaluate the potential applicability of data submitted by vendors who had devices approved by Washington, to be utilized by Portland. The treatment of total suspended solids (TSS) is the focus of this thesis since it is central to the testing process and since most of the other pollutions are attached to TSS and will get treated if TSS is treated. The overall analysis shows that Portland adopts more restrictive requirements on the characterization of stormwater event samples to be treated by a technological instrument while Washington's restriction are more stringent on the efficiency of total suspended solid removal, in which it demands higher standards on the treatment of TSS compared to Portland's efficiency requirements. In order to study practical context in which regulations are administrated by Portland, rainfall data from 66 gauges covering the period of 1980-2011 was studied and the impacts of seasonality, land use, land form, periods of no rain before and after an event and Portland's Modified Performance line on the number of accepted rain events were analyzed. The results which were accepted by state of Washington were also compared with the results accepted by the city of Portland on Portland's Standard Performance line. Our seasonality study suggests that Portland's requirements are unnecessarily restrictive which results in the disqualification of many otherwise useful stormwater events, sometimes allowing no natural events to be available for testing in dry years. The analysis of land use showed that land use has no statistically significant impact on the concentration levels of TSS, thereby indicating that land use restrictions in the testing rules could be usefully relaxed. Decreasing the interevent no-rain period significantly increases the total number of events providing sufficient data to assess the performance of treatment facilities. We also showed that many more events become suitable for performance testing if events separated by one hours or less are considered a single, longer event. Finally we identified a statistical relationship between number of forecasted accepted stormwater events and the total average daily precipitation in a given year.

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