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Watershed Impervious Surface Storm Water Assessment

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Enhancing Environmental Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1356.1 - 15.1356.10



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Paper Authors


William Roper George Mason University

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Dr. Roper is a professor at George Mason University. He is a Founding Director & President of Rivers of the World Foundation and a Sr. Advisor to the consulting firm of Dawson & Associates. He joined George Mason after serving as Professor and Chairman of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at George Washington University. During that time he also served as Sr. Science and Technology Advisor to the NGA. Prior to this position he was the director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center in Alexandria, VA and earlier Dir. of the Corps of Engineers world-wide civil works Research and Development Program. He has published over 150 technical papers and made numerous presentations at national and international forums.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


The Sustainable Development and Next Generation Buildings class worked with Arlington County Virginia to assess impacts and alternatives for a sensitive storm water project in the county. This was a real world application of the subjects and technologies used in the class room for storm water management and planning. Within Arlington County there is an enhanced awareness of the potential to restore urban watersheds through the application of low impact development (LID) and best management practices (BMP). Some of these options include localized use of small-scale bioretention systems, rain barrels, permeable paving, rainwater collection, and vegetated roofs and incremental impervious cover reduction. To understand the potential for LID and BMP applications current condition and location of impervious surfaces in a watershed is necessary. This study collected imagery and conducted data analysis on the Little Pimmit Run watershed as part of a flood control project. High resolution airborne photography was collected during the spring of 2007. The photographic data was converted to digital imagery, geo-rectified, boundary corrected and translated into polygon data for entry into a Geographic Information System (GIS) data management system. Seven impervious surface land use characteristics were selected for evaluation. They included roofs, alleys, handicap ramps, driveways, paved medians, road ways, sidewalks and parking lots. The total impervious surface area in the watershed was determined to be 36.11% of total area. These findings are being used for exploring LID and BMP options that will have the best potential for application in this watershed.

Key Words: GIS system, map data sharing, GIS analysis tools, impervious surface analysis, and information sharing

Course Description

The course introduces the concepts, applications and tools for analysis and decision making in support of sustainable environmental development and next generation communities and building design. Students are introduced to a variety of challenges related to environmental protection, stewardship and management of air, soil, and water. The underlying principals of ecological protection, stewardship, reduced environmental footprint, ecosystem capital, sustainable economic development and globalization impacts are reviewed. The integration of actions that are ecologically viable, economically feasible and socially desirable to achieve sustainable solutions is evaluated. Within this context sustainable building concepts are explored that are intended to provide though out their lifetime a beneficial impact on their occupants and their surrounding environment. Such buildings are optimally integrated on all parameters-initial affordability, timeliness of completion, net life-cycle cost, durability, functionality for programs and persons, health, safety, accessibility, aesthetic and urban design, maintainability, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. The principles of LEED building design and certification are introduced and example projects reviewed. Integrated design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants are assessed in the broad areas of: 1) sustainable site planning, 2)

Roper, W. (2010, June), Watershed Impervious Surface Storm Water Assessment Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16945

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