Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Water Resources Program]

Graduate/Undergraduate Courses

Senior Design 2004-2005

Two Senior Design teams were formed for the 2004-2005 academic year. The two projects developed for the year are: Engineered Stormwater Management for Low-Income Urban Communities and Development of a Watershed Restoration Plan for Davidson Mill Pond and Design of Stormwater Best Management Practices for Various Land Uses


Engineered Stormwater Management for Low-Income Urban Communities

Faculty Advisors:
Christopher Obropta, Cook College Bioenvironmental Engineering Department,
Karen O'Neill, Cook College Human Ecology Department

Student Team Members:
David Berry, Karan Bhandari, Gregory Rusciano, and Kristine Yates, Bioenvironmental Engineering Department
Mike Avery and John Donnelly, Landscape Architecture Department
Medea Villere, Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior Department

Project Description:
This project focuses on improving the urban landscape through the creation of socially beneficial green spaces, while simultaneously improving environmental quality. The success of this project depends on promoting environmental awareness throughout the community. This pilot project is designed for the Weequahic Park neighborhood of the City of Newark, New Jersey, but its concepts are to act as a reference guide for stormwater management in urban areas throughout the world.

The design team has identified Dayton Street Elementary School and the Seth Boyden Public Housing Complex (Newark Housing Authority) as candidate sites that will benefit greatly from stormwater management. These sites were selected because they possess attributes shared by many urban communities: large areas of impervious surfaces, few green spaces, nonexistent stormwater management, and a lack of funds to ameliorate these problems. These sites are also contributors of non-point source (NPS) pollution; they discharge into a combined sewer system that regularly overflows due to high volumes, spilling effluent into the streets of Newark.

Outcomes of the proposed designs include a better quality of life for the students and employees of Dayton Street School, as well as the local residents of the Seth Boyden Complex and the surrounding community. The students and employees will benefit through the creation of a recreational area that will serve as a biofilter, as well as an educational tool to teach students about hydrologic processes, impacts of stormwater, and potential careers in the field of natural resources and environmental studies. Residents will be able to take greater pride in their community through the beautification of their surroundings and the job training opportunities that will be created for community members through the project implementation process.


Development of a Watershed Restoration Plan for Davidson Mill Pond and Design of Stormwater Best Management Practices for Various Land Uses

Project Summary:
As conveyed in the 2002 Integrated List of Waterbodies, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) listed Davidson Mill Pond in South Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey as a eutrophic lake due to the high concentration of total phosphorus. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Davidson Mill Pond requires that the total phosphorus loading to the Davidson Mill Pond be reduced by 83% in order to meet the State Water Quality Standards.


The goal of this project is to prepare a Watershed Restoration Plan to achieve the required TMDL reductions for total phosphorus and to design several stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that can be used to control phosphorus loadings from four different types of land use in the watershed. For Watershed Restoration Plans, there are a minimum of nine requirements for the plan to meet before it can be approved. (1) Identification of causes and sources that need to be controlled to reach the load reductions that are called for in the TMDL report. This must be a detailed list of improvements that are needed in the watershed. (2) Estimation of the load reductions expected due to the implementation of BMPs. (3) A detailed report on the NPS management measures that are required to reach the expected loads listed in previous requirement. (4) Detailed list of construction and maintenance costs of all NPS management items that are required in the project. (5) A component of the project should be aimed at working with the general public to educate them on the issues and encourage involvement with the maintenance of their own watershed. (6) A schedule of the tasks that are required to complete the project. (7) Determine milestones for the watershed and a step by step process to reach their load reduction goals. (8) A set of criteria that will be used to determine whether the BMPs are working and whether or not the plan should be revised. (9) The watershed must have a monitoring program so it can determine whether or not it reaches it’s milestones in a timely manner.

The strategy of senior design team is not to design enough structural and nonstructural BMPs to reach the load reduction goal because that would take much more time than the team can allot for this project. Instead, they are designing BMPs for each type of land use in the watershed (agriculture, urban, industrial and riparian). Those BMPs can be viewed as models that should be replicated and modified when necessary else where in the watershed. Through the replications of the BMPs the watershed, the target load reduction that are required in the TMDL can be achieved.

Project Team:
The student design team consists of four bioenvironmental engineering students (Ms. Kelly Francisco, Ms. Anna Michelle Grossman, Mr. Ben Smolinski, and Mr. Sean Walsh). All students are seniors and will use the skills and expertise that they gained as a result of their course work at Rutgers Cook College.

-----