Decade of Research in Review at the Auburn University Stormwater Research Facility



  • Sediment remains one of the most commonly occurring pollutants affecting the U.S.’s water bodies, as identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1). Construction activities largely accelerate soil erosion and subsequent sediment deposition. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction General Permit requires construction operators to implement erosion and sediment control (E&SC) plans to minimize downstream implications from sediment-laden discharge. However, E&SC practices are often designed from ‘‘rules of thumb’’ and lack scientific, performance-based evidence in their design and implementation. The Auburn University Stormwater Research Facility (AU-SRF), previously the Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility (AU-ESCTF), is an outdoor research center dedicated to evaluating E&SC practices and products commonly used on highway construction projects. Large-scale test apparatuses and methods at AU-SRF are designed to mimic construction site conditions, including rainfall, flow rates, topography, and soil characteristics, to evaluate existing and novel E&SC practices. Since its inception in 2008, AU-SRF has provided small-, medium-, and large-scale testing evaluations for numerous Departments of Transportation and product manufacturers. Findings from controlled testing have continued to inform the selection, design, implementation, and maintenance of E&SC practices used on construction sites and protect downstream waters and infrastructure. In the first decade, AU-SRF has directed 13 research projects and produced more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and 100 professional presentations. As AU-SRF grows into its second decade and efforts reach outside of the southeastern region, the mission to advance knowledge through E&SC research and development, product evaluation, and training remains constant. This review synthesizes the research produced from large-scale testing at AU-SRF to date and presents ongoing projects.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 590
  • End Page

  • 604
  • Volume

  • 2676