Evaluation of Stormwater Management Ponds Thermal Impact using PCSWMM

Farshid Sabouri, Nandana Perera, Bahram Gharabaghi and Ed McBean


Thermal pollution from urban runoff is a significant contributor to the degradation of cold water ecosystems (Boulton 2008, Herb et al. 2008, and Jones 2009). Stormwater management ponds (SWMPs) remain the popular option to control flood damage and for effective removal of suspended solids and associated contaminants from urban surface runoff (Anderson 2002, Moralek et al. 2002, Martin 1988); however, ponds can produce a diverse array of potential negative thermal effects on aquatic habitat (Scheueler and Galli 1995, Jones 2006). The use and construction of SWMPs is increasing in the rapidly developing areas of southwestern Ontario, and several municipalities have hundreds of SWMPs within a single watershed. Therefore, the potential for SWMPs impacts is significant.

In this study, 6 stormwater management ponds have been monitored in the last three summers (2009 to 2011). The data are used to establish a PCSWMM model to mimic the existing hydrologic conditions of the catchments area in the City of Guelph and the city of Kitchener area, Ontario. The landuse within the catchments are varied form pond to pond data. The calibration and verification are done for four single storm events. The focus of the study is to evaluate the modeled stormwater management ponds thermal impact and total heat flux to their receiving system.

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