Reducing stormwater run-off with biochar addition to highway greening

Reducing storm water tun off & pollutant loading with biochar addition to highway greenway

Paul Imhoff & Seyyed Ali Akbar Nakhli, University of Delaware, October 2017

Funder: NCHRD IDEA Program

Untreated storm water has had a huge detrimental impact on many water bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay.  In an effort to reduce and repair the damage, regulations are now in place to try to reduce the volume of storm water as well as the amount of pollutants.  The cost of implementing or retrofitting storm water controls varies depending on the recommended practice but can be as much as  $350,000 per acre for initial installation costs.  

Incorporating just 4% biochar was found to cost-effectively reduce the average storm water runoff volume and peak flow rate by 84 and 77% respectively. Not only was it less expensive than 20 of 23 currently recommended storm water management techniques, but it takes significantly less land than many other available options, making it the only realistic option when land is scarce.

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