Using Bioretention Retrofits to Meet Virginia’s New Stormwater Management Regulations: A Case Study

  •  Brett Buckland    
  •  Randel Dymond    
  •  Clayton Hodges    


Virginia’s new stormwater regulations involve the use of the Runoff Reduction Method (RRM), a methodology to estimate a volume reduction in predicted runoff. Regulations require that for downstream erosion control, the product of the peak flow rate and runoff volume (Q*RV) from one-year storm events in the post-development condition be reduced to less than pre-development Q*RV. This study models different bioretention sizing scenarios in a developed watershed in Blacksburg, Virginia to determine the performance at both the sub-watershed and watershed levels. In addition, models of “optimal” bioretention cells, sized to meet the RRM for each sub-watershed, are evaluated. A direct relationship is observed between the size of the cell required to meet the RRM and the sub-watershed’s developed Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) curve number, and a sizing analysis is provided. Modeling shows that the required size of “optimal” cells for many sub-watersheds exceeds conventional bioretention designs. Upon applying the RRM for all sub-watersheds, the resulting hydrograph at the watershed outlet more closely resembles the pre-development hydrograph than existing development.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0488
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0496
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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