Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Runkle, Benjamin

Committee Member/Reader

Haggard, Brian

Committee Member/Second Reader

Miller, David


Residential adoption of low-impact development (LID) technology can positively impact downstream watershed hydrology by reducing total volumetric discharge from the residential site. This reduction can provide economic, environmental, and social benefits for the residents as well as the community at large. Additionally, homeowners are often affected by stormwater related issues, like flooding or washout, that could be easily mitigated with a sustainably engineered LID structure or network. Engineering for sustainability often includes the blending of several objectives to provide greater overall benefit. This thesis compares the outflow characteristics of three low-maintenance residential LID design scenarios differing in rain garden soil depth and therefore differing in available pore space. As pore space increases, water storage potential also increases, allowing for greater reductions in total volumetric discharge. Despite this relationship, the deepest possible rain garden cannot be considered the best choice for all homeowners. Economic considerations may deter some who are interested in environmental preservation but cannot endure the initial cost of investment attached to the most environmentally beneficial design. To encourage widespread adoption, it is recommended that homeowners invest in low-maintenance LIDs that incorporate the use of native plant species in the design. Generally, the incorporation of residential rain gardens provides exceptional benefit. These LIDs excel in the reduction of total volumetric discharge and can be designed to aesthetically appeal to a multitude of visual preferences. By following this guidance, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of successful and sustainable engineering design while also providing an ecological service to their community.


rain garden, rain barrel, vegetative swale, residential LID