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Non-point source pollution of stormwater contributes high contaminant loads into surface water bodies and poses a threat to the ecosystem, public health and economy. Although (pre)treatment standards have not been introduced at the federal level, Rhode Island (RI) has set minimal contaminant reduction standards for stormwater using structural best management practices (BMP). As BMP performance depends highly on geographical location and climate, and the Northeastern United States experiences broad ranges of temperatures throughout the year along with long intermittent periods between precipitation events, stormwater treatment can be challenging. In this field study, two tree filters were evaluated: a conventional unit (CTF) with sand/shale mix as filter media, and a modified tree filter (ITF) with an added layer of red cedar wood chips amended with 3-(trihydroxysilyl)propyldimethyloctadecyl ammonium chloride. Both BMPs were monitored for 346 days primarily for Escherichia coli and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Both tree filters met or outperformed RI’s standards for bacteria removal (60%) and TSS (85%), making them a good choice for BMP use in this climate. Total suspended solids, E. coli, PAHs, nitrate, and phosphate removal is higher in ITF. A controlled field scale tracer test using E. coli confirmed these results.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.