Storm water detention ponds: Modeling heavy metal removal by plant species and sediments

Jeffrey D. Weiss, Miki Hondzo, Michael Semmens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Laboratory and field studies were conducted to elucidate heavy metal removal by three wetland grasses and sediments in storm water detention pond. The removal of heavy metals including Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn was mediated by fluid-flow intensity in the reactors. The growth of plants and the removal rates of contaminants were plant species dependent. All three wetland grasses removed contaminants from the spiked nutrient solutions. A first-order kinetic model adequately represented the removal of contaminants by plants. The analyses of undisturbed sediment cores in detention pond revealed strong stratification of heavy metal concentrations at the sediment-water interface. A simple model that integrates heavy metal removal by aquatic plants and sediments in storm water detention ponds is proposed. The model provides an estimate of contaminant residence time which can be related to hydraulic residence time in storm water detention ponds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1034-1042
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Abatement and removal
  • Detention basins
  • Heavy metals
  • Sediment
  • Stormwater management
  • Vegetation


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