Assessment of LID practices for restoring pre-development runoff regime in an urbanized catchment in southern Finland
This study quantifies the effects of common stormwater management techniques on urban runoff generation. Simulated flow rates for different low impact development (LID) scenarios were compared with observed flow rates during different urban construction phases in a catchment (12.3 ha) that was developed from natural forest to a residential area over a monitoring period of 5 years. The Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was calibrated and validated against the observed flow rates in the fully developed catchment conditions, and it was then applied to parameterize the LID measures and produce scenarios of their hydrological impacts. The results from the LID scenarios were compared with the observed flow rates in the pre-development and the partially developed catchment conditions. The results show that LID controls reduce urban runoff towards the flow conditions in the partially developed catchment, but the reduction effect diminishes during large rainfall events. The hydrographs with LID are still clearly different from the observed pre-development levels. Although the full restoration of pre-development flow conditions was not feasible, a combination of several measures controlling both volumes and retention times of storm runoff appeared to be effective for managing the stormwater runoff and mitigating the negative impacts of urban development.