Impact of Biofiltration Systems on Water, Mass and Energy Balances in Urban Areas

(2009 – current)
Alice Niculescu

Vegetated stormwater biofiltration systems have been proven very efficient in removing stormwater pollution and improving the level of runoff returned to the environment. As a result of their efficacy in improving the quality of stormwater runoff, it is likely that the implementation of such systems in urban areas will greatly increase in the future. For example, a proposed 10 000 biofiltration systems are scheduled to be installed in Melbourne within the next 5 years.

To date, much research has been dedicated to maximising the performance of biofilters for the purpose of treating stormwater. However, less attention has been dedicated to the hydrology of these systems, which may have a significant impact on the local water cycle, greenhouse gas and energy balances. The focus of this research is based at one such biofiltration unit installed at Monash University, Clayton Campus (Melbourne, VIC). This biofilter treats stormwater runoff diverted from a 100% impervious car park and diverts the treated stormwater to an adjacent pond. In this study a monitored system is created within the unsaturated soil in one cell of the biofilter (-SZ) and the saturated soil of another cell (+SZ) to measure CO2, soil moisture and soil temperature. This will enable us to investigate the impact of a biofiltration system on the interaction between soil and atmosphere in an urban setting.

Project Partners:


Vegetated Filtration Systems/BiofiltersWSUD Technologies