2018 Analysis of Runoff from Impervious Surfaces in Downtown Minneapolis

MWMO Watershed Bulletin 2018-4


Understanding the entrainment and transport of potential contaminants from impervious surfaces is necessary for the development and implementation of sound water-management practices. Natural rainfall events are widely used to gain insight into these processes. Installation of monitoring equipment and collection of samples from these events needs to be done carefully. Impact of seasons and type of impervious surfaces on pollutant loads can be difficult to determine. Rainfall characteristics that vary between events and vary spatially for the same event are the reason pollutant loads are difficult to determine. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and the University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (UMN) worked collaboratively on a unique study investigating the impact of impervious surfaces stormwater runoff into the Mississippi River. The study focused on streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and rooftops located in the downtown Minneapolis area. A rain simulator was used to study the runoff response of streets, parking lots and sidewalks. Rain simulators allow the study to focus on the role of surface types and seasonal differences by removing difference in rainfall characteristics. Runoff characteristics of roofs were studied using natural rainfall and snowmelt events.


Bruce Wilson, Ph.D.; Brittany Faust; Christi Wahlstrom; Eleanor Arpin; Emily Deering

Suggested Citation

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. (2018). 2018 Analysis of Runoff from Impervious Surfaces in Downtown Minneapolis. MWMO Watershed Bulletin 2018-4. 66 pp.

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