Presentation Abstract

Urban stormwater treatment wetlands benefit communities because they filter pollutants from receiving waters and provide habitat for urban wildlife and birds. The installation of wetlands is often avoided because stormwater quality is highly variable, which makes it both challenging and expensive to ensure that the wetlands are effectively mitigating the impacts of stormwater runoff. For decades, macroscopic species, such as benthic invertebrates, have been used as biological indicators of watershed health. With recent advancements in genomics (the branch of science that studies the function and structure of DNA within a single cell), it may now be feasible to use microscopic biological indicators, such as bacteria, to monitor the health and mitigation effectiveness of engineered stormwater treatment systems, including wetlands. This presentation describes a recent pilot project involving a DNA-based monitoring approach that was applied at an operating stormwater treatment wetland in Vancouver, British Columbia. A laboratory study was also performed as part of the project to cross compare results. The researchers developed insight around the shifts in bacteria species and functions among bacteria communities that occur with changing stormwater conditions. The results suggested a correlation between bacteria and the performance of treatment wetlands. Cost estimates performed for various monitoring scenarios suggested that using analysis of bacterial DNA alongside contaminant analysis may improve the accuracy of wetland performance monitoring at a lower overall cost than traditional wetland monitoring. This presentation will share information gleaned from this research that could enhance and improve the design and management of treatment wetlands. It will also share lessons learned and future opportunities for DNA-based performance monitoring of stormwater treatment systems.

Session Title

Stormwater Characterization and Management Using a Watershed Approach

Keywords

Stormwater, Genomics, Wetlands

Conference Track

SSE3: Fate, Transport, and Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE3-209

Start Date

6-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 11:30 AM Apr 6th, 11:45 AM

Application of genomics to develop a monitoring tool for stormwater treatment wetlands

Urban stormwater treatment wetlands benefit communities because they filter pollutants from receiving waters and provide habitat for urban wildlife and birds. The installation of wetlands is often avoided because stormwater quality is highly variable, which makes it both challenging and expensive to ensure that the wetlands are effectively mitigating the impacts of stormwater runoff. For decades, macroscopic species, such as benthic invertebrates, have been used as biological indicators of watershed health. With recent advancements in genomics (the branch of science that studies the function and structure of DNA within a single cell), it may now be feasible to use microscopic biological indicators, such as bacteria, to monitor the health and mitigation effectiveness of engineered stormwater treatment systems, including wetlands. This presentation describes a recent pilot project involving a DNA-based monitoring approach that was applied at an operating stormwater treatment wetland in Vancouver, British Columbia. A laboratory study was also performed as part of the project to cross compare results. The researchers developed insight around the shifts in bacteria species and functions among bacteria communities that occur with changing stormwater conditions. The results suggested a correlation between bacteria and the performance of treatment wetlands. Cost estimates performed for various monitoring scenarios suggested that using analysis of bacterial DNA alongside contaminant analysis may improve the accuracy of wetland performance monitoring at a lower overall cost than traditional wetland monitoring. This presentation will share information gleaned from this research that could enhance and improve the design and management of treatment wetlands. It will also share lessons learned and future opportunities for DNA-based performance monitoring of stormwater treatment systems.