Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Thermal Effects of Rain Gardens at the Headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek in Pennsylvania
by Carvajal Sanchez, Sergio, M.S.V., Villanova University, 2018, 118; 10809299
Abstract (Summary)

Urbanization causes increases in impervious cover, alteration of stream channels, and introduction of pollution sources to waterways. Two rain gardens were installed at the headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek to combat urbanization effects and protect the stream from increased stormwater runoff, which can lead to higher flood peaks and pollution control problems. Thermal pollution found in urban runoff is a significant contributor to degradation of streams. Some fish such as the brown trout can be severely affected by heated runoff and many organisms lack the ability to regulate their body temperature. The goal of this research was to assess the thermal impacts from two rain gardens on the headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek from temperature surges during rainfall events. This goal was accomplished by analyzing two and half years of continuous data during non-winter months from a weather station and a flow meter located downstream of the rain gardens. The data from the weather station were precipitation and air temperature. The flow meter data included flow depth, velocity, and temperature. Three months of pre-construction data were collected before the first rain garden was installed.

The data analysis revealed that surges in water temperature of up to 3.3 °C are found in the headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek almost immediately after it starts raining. A weak correlation (R2 = 0.31) between the total water temperature change and studied storm intensity was found. Comparison of pre- and post-construction data showed that the median water temperature surge decreased by approximately 1 °C after the installation of the first rain garden located approximately 315 meters upstream of the flow meter. The installation of the second rain garden located approximately 10 meters upstream of the flow meter did not cause a significant change in temperature surge. The cause of this decrease in temperature can be attributed to the transfer of heat from the hot runoff to the soils in the rain garden. Although a 1 °C decrease of temperature surges is a small number, such a decrease can have a tremendous impact on cold water species such as the brown trout.

This research is part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), funded by the William Penn Foundation (WPF).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Welker, Andrea L.
Commitee: Komlos, John
School: Villanova University
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Engineering, Civil engineering, Environmental engineering
Keywords: Engineering, Headwaters, Rainfall patterns, Stormwater, Stormwater control measures, Thermal impacts
Publication Number: 10809299
ISBN: 9780355938593
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