Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Jon M. Hathaway

Committee Members

Branko Kerkez, Anahita Khojandi, John S. Schwartz


Stormwater control measures (SCMs) such as dry extended detention basins and wet ponds are common practices implemented by engineers and designers to mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff. These practices are designed based on historical rainfall data to attenuate runoff to pre-development conditions and, once they are installed, are unable to adapt to changing rainfall patterns or watershed restoration objectives. To solve these climate resiliency issues, several studies were conducted which investigated the impact of retrofitting such systems with a controllable outlet to increase or change detention times during rainfall events along with the novel instrumentation and methodologies necessary for its operation.

The first of these studies explored the development, deployment, and validation of a low-cost, accurate stream gauging station capable of remotely sensing stream stage as an alternative to more traditional, but cost prohibitive, systems. Not only can these stations be deployed to cover gaps in existing networks, but the real-time data can also be used to inform the control decisions of SCMs outfitted with real-time control (RTC). The next study analyzed the performance of a dry extended detention basin outfitted with RTC which incorporated real-time water quality data in the decision framework in order to meet water quality objectives more consistently. The results of this study proved that this novel methodology was not only successful but performed better than static stormwater infrastructure or a RTC strategy utilizing predetermined detention times. While the hydrologic impact to a receiving stream once water is released from a RTC equipped SCM has begun to be explored, little is known about the impact to in-stream water quality. Results from the third study of this dissertation investigating these impacts concluded that while noticeable impacts to many parameters were observed, the only concerning impacts were thermal impairments during warm weather. Finally, a comprehensive modeling investigation was undertaken to provide contextualization and explore the advantages and disadvantages of different RTC strategies. Results from this investigation concluded that both wet ponds and dry extended detention basins would be able to further attenuate stormwater during and following rainfall events with wet ponds especially benefiting from additional control.

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