University of Tennessee Research Project will Develop Guidelines for Use of Trees for Rainwater Management


Trees: Nature’s Water Filter?

The project, “Storm Water Goes Green: Investigating the Benefit and Health of Urban Trees in Green Infrastructure Installations,” is a multidisciplinary effort led by the University of Tennessee to study the impact of trees on storm water management. Key to the study is the concept of bioretention, the ability of green space to slow storm runoff and filter contaminants and sediments from the water.

“There is a critical need to understand the role of trees in urban areas in terms of natural storm water treatment. The knowledge we gain will allow planners and engineers to better Jon-Hathaway_120punderstand how to control floodwaters naturally,” said Jon Hathaway, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“The team’s concept came about because little research has been done on the effect of urban trees on runoff.”

“Based on the results of these studies, design guidelines will be developed which explain how best to integrate trees into bioretention areas,” said Hathaway. “We’ll make the guidelines readily available online for anyone and everyone to benefit from them.”

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To read the complete news release, click on Trees: Nature’s Water Filter? UT Study Hopes to Prove So