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Urban Watershed Management Branch

Branch Information

Michelle Simon
Acting Branch Chief

Phone: 513-569-7469
Email: simon.michelle@epa.gov

Urban Watershed Management Branch (UWMB) is part of the Water Supply and Water Resources Division of the Office of Research and Development's National Risk Management Research Laboratory's (NRMRL). UWMB addresses areas of investigation that align with NRMRL's mission and the overarching strategic plan of the Office of Research and Development. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers provide technical support to EPA's Office of Water, EPA regional offices, state governments, communities, and homeowners. Staff members also engage in collaborative research with water utilities, consultants, and academic institutions.

Our Focus

Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution. In an undeveloped environment, pervious ground surfaces filter and absorb stormwater from rain events as the runoff flows into nearby waters. In an urban setting with large amounts of impervious surfaces, much more of the rainwater is directly routed into engineered stormwater collection systems. In many older cities, the water collection systems combine stormwater with wastewater in combined sewer overflows (CSOs) before carrying it to wastewater management systems for treatment. Heavy-volume rain or snow events can overburden the collection and treatment systems, resulting in overflows of untreated wastewater (including chemical and microbial pollutants) into nearby receiving waters. This can result in unsafe recreational and drinking water, as well as potential harm to vegetation, fish, and other aquatic life.

UWMB conducts research that focuses on the drainage and treatment systems of the urban environment, the structural integrity of such systems, and the effects of discharges to receiving waters. It is our mission to research, develop, and demonstrate technologies, systems and methods required to manage the risks to public health, property, and the environment from Wet-Weather Flow (WWF) and to renew decaying urban pipeline infrastructure. The majority of the population lives in urban areas and this is where the greatest risks associated with water quality and hydrologic-hydraulic improvements will occur. The focus on urban areas, however, includes addressing the watershed as a whole, including urban fringe/suburban areas and, to an extent, rural areas.

Key research areas:

UWMB researchers aim to provide results for stakeholders, such as utilities and state primacy agencies, in order to better inform decision makers on water management issues.  We strive to develop planning tools that will incorporate new and innovative ideas for sustaining the nation's water resources. To conduct our research, we utilize several highly specialized water research facilities: The Edison Environmental Center, located in Edison, New Jersey, and the Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Research Projects

Title
Research Area (s)
Principal Investigator (s)
National Green Roof Monitoring Program  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure Stormwater Management; Green Infrastructure Michael Borst, Thomas P. O'Connor
Permeable Pavement Demonstration Site at the Edison Environmental Center (EEC)  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure Stormwater Management; Green Infrastructure Michel Borst, Amy Rowe, Emilie Stander, & Thomas P. O'Connor
Demonstration of Green/Gray Infrastructure for Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control  Stormwater Management; Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Green Infrastructure; BMPs Richard Field
Demonstration of Infiltration Basins for Stormwater Runoff Control Stormwater Management; Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Green Infrastructure; BMPs Richard Field
State-of-the-Technology on Advanced Drainage Concepts  Stormwater Management; Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Green Infrastructure Richard Field
Field Verification of New and Innovative Technologies for the Assessment and Rehabilitation of Drinking Water Distribution Systems and Wastewater Collection Systems  Aging Water Infrastructure; Water Distribution Systems; Wastewater Collection Systems Ray Frederick
Condition Assessment of Wastewater Collection Systems  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Wastewater Collection Systems Ariamalar Selvakumar
Condition Assessment of Wastewater Collection Systems Using the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Analysis and Planning (SSOAP) Toolbox  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Wastewater Collection Systems Ariamalar Selvakumar
Framework for Placement of BMPs in Urban Watersheds to Protect Source Waters and Meet Water Quality Goals  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure Ariamalar Selvakumar
Performance Evaluation of Best Management Practices (BMP) Monitoring and Sampling Data Watershed Management Thomas O'Connor
Total Water Management  Watershed Management Thomas O'Connor
Condition Assessment for Drinking Water Systems  Aging Water Infrastructure; Water Distribution Systems Michael Royer
Condition Assessment for Drinking Water Transmission and Distribution Mains  Aging Water Infrastructure; Water Distribution Systems Michael Royer
Controlled-Condition Research on Wastewater Collection and Drinking Water Distribution Systems  Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Water Distribution Systems; Wastewater Collection Systems Michael Royer
Innovation and Research for Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century  Aging Water Infrastructure Michael Royer
Evaluating Receiving Water Improvements from Stream Restoration (Accotink Creek, Fairfax City, VA) Watershed Management Ariamalar Selvakumar
Evaluation of Soil Media for Stormwater Infiltration Best Management Practices Watershed Management; Stormwater Management; BMPs Ariamalar Selvakumar &  Michael Borst
Rehabilitation of Wastewater Collection and Water Distribution Systems Aging Wastewater Infrastructure; Water Distribution Systems; Wastewater Collection Systems Ariamalar Selvakumar

Recent Publications

Journal Articles exit EPA

Book Chapters exit EPA

Reports

Software/Models

Contact Information

To ask a question or report a problem regarding the Water Research web pages, please contact Michelle Latham, 513-569-7601, or use the addresses below.

Cincinnati, OH Address

U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center
Water Supply and Water Resources Division
26 West Martin Luther King Drive
Mail Code: MLK 689
Cincinnati, OH 45268

Edison, NJ Address

U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Edison Environmental Center
Water Supply and Water Resources Division - Urban Watershed Management Branch
2890 Woodbridge Ave. MS104
Edison, NJ 08837
Phone: 732-906-6989
Fax: 732-321-6640
Email: Urban Watershed Management Branch (urban.watershed@epa.gov)

Office of Research & Development | National Risk Management Research Laboratory


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