BMP Effectiveness Evaluation for DOTs

Focus Area

Water Quality/Wetlands


Natural Resources






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope


DOTs routinely complete BMP effectiveness studies as a part of their
research to improve their stormwater program. Many of the effectiveness studies
duplicate research in other parts of the country with few apparent significant
deviations. Local performance data for BMPs is preferred, but may not provide
additional value in many instances. In addition, the body of BMP research
specific to DOTs is not available for review in a single location, but rather
is kept with various agencies and may exist in gray literature format.

Research Objective:

The purpose of this research is to determine the conditions under
which BMP effectiveness studies can be translated from one geographic area to
another without a significant loss of accuracy in the prototype study outcome.
This research will define the critical independent variables in BMP
effectiveness studies, and identify the conditions that it is appropriate to
translate effectiveness studies to other geographic locations, or, if
appropriate, other design configurations. A second objective of this research
is to determine a uniform effectiveness assessment study protocol for DOTs so
that research data is comparable nationally. Finally, the study will
investigate the feasibility of establishing a research study clearing house to
facilitate the exchange of BMP research information.

Specific Tasks:

Task 1 – Literature
Review, Compilation of Data and Survey of State Practices and Experience

The literature review and the data compilation will focus on the
following areas

Compilation of existing DOT BMP research studies;

Review of assessment protocols;

Review of existing study clearinghouses, such as
the International BMP Database

Task 2 – Develop Effectiveness
Assessment Model Program and Basis for Translation

Work under this task will develop a model BMP effectiveness study
framework to standardize the assessment of BMP performance. The work will
specifically focus on ensuring that results from research studies are
consistent to allow comparison between studies. This will aide in refining
translators for variations in location. For example, the performance of
vegetated swales likely varies with climate and soils. Comparison of
effectiveness studies done with comparable protocols from various regions in
the US will allow an assessment of potential differences and the development of
performance translators.

Task 3 – Assess
Feasibility and Provide Recommendations for Establishing a Study Clearinghouse

There has been a substantial amount of research completed by DOTs on
the performance of BMPs in the highway environment. Many of these studies are
published, some existing in gray literature, but none are centrally located and
indexed to facilitate research by BMP, constituent of concern and climate
region. The purpose of this task is to determine if it is advantageous to
develop a clearinghouse for research studies, and if so, an outline of the form
the clearinghouse should take.

Suggested By

Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO Stormwater Management Community of Practice