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Bill Hunt III

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist

Weaver Administration Bldg 210A


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Date: 08/01/14 - 12/31/28
Amount: $141,293.00
Funding Agencies: Lifetime Fitness, Inc.

Lifetime Fitness (LTF) is developing an existing driving range in Northeast Raleigh into a Personal Fitness Center. To complete a project conducted prior to construction, LTF has pledged to monitor their center and property which has been designed to mimic pre-development hydrology and pollutant loads. NCSU-BAE proposes to collect hydrologic and water quality data from the completed development immediately before flow exits the property (at a monitoring station constructed during phase I of this project). Data collected during this second phase will be compared to that of the earlier (pre-development) monitoring period. NCSU faculty and staff will participate in up to 4 public meetings to discuss the project as part of public service/outreach, if needed.

Date: 09/20/21 - 12/31/23
Amount: $182,526.00
Funding Agencies: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Five-to-six urban pervious landcovers will be selected in the Raleigh-Durham area and 2-3 urban pervious landcovers will be selected in the Wilmington area. The intent of locating research sites in both places is to test a gradient of soil types (sandy in Wilmington and clayey in Durham/Raleigh). Three principal pervious covers will be tested, but flexibility exists for these to be adjusted per input from NCDEQ personnel. As of now, we will test forests with minimal management, shrub areas with minimal management, and turfgrass. Exact sites will be selected during the first 3 months of the project. Each small catchment will be surveyed to determine its size. When necessary, NC State SEG will construct diversions to channel runoff to a monitoring station. No monitoring will be installed until reviewed and approved by NC DEQ. Every site will be monitored for approximately one year and data collection will occur during the following 15 months (not every monitoring site will have the same “start” date). Hydrologic and water quality data will be collected using automated samples, v-notch weirs coupled with pressure transducers, and rain gauges. Flow-proportional samples will enable the calculation of Event Mean Concentrations (EMC’s) that are necessary for SNAP. The graduate student will keep a quarterly-revised tally of results for each monitoring station and be able to report this to NCDEQ upon DEQ’s request. Data will be analyzed using statistical techniques and tabulated in a final report. Findings from this report are intended to be incorporated into the SNAP tool. A workshop will be held towards the end of the project with a focus on SNAP, during which time the results of this research will be shared to the design and regulatory community.

Date: 08/01/19 - 7/31/23
Amount: $500,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The modern availability of novel data analytics and cost-effective high-performance computing creates unique opportunities to tap into the wellspring of potential offered by big data for creating decision-making tools that inform sustainable agroecosystem management. When coupled with climate, land use, and policy-related data streams through analytics, long-term monitoring data can be applied to develop data-driven decision-support tools designed for land and water resource managers, but foundational research is needed to develop such data-rich decision-support platforms. As a case study, this research will develop a data-to-decision pipeline for nearshore water quality management in support of shellfish agroecosystem protection. Shellfish growing areas are regularly screened for coliform bacteria to inform on-the-fly decision-making by regulators who are evaluating the sanitation of cultured shellfish, which has led to the accrual of a vast record of spatiotemporal bacterial observations. These national-scale data remain poorly explored and underutilized due to challenges associated with analyzing big, multi-scale data, but could be mined to develop critically-needed decision-support platforms.

Date: 02/23/21 - 7/31/23
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund

Wet detention ponds, or wet ponds, are one of the most common stormwater control measures installed in North Carolina and humid regions throughout the world. While wet ponds are effective at attenuating peak flow, previous research has shown inconsistent pollutant removal efficiency. As ponds are a popular SCM in North Carolina, the improvement of their pollutant removal efficiencies is essential in North Carolina’s nutrient sensitive watersheds. To address these treatment shortcomings, research has recently focused on retrofits to existing wet ponds to improve nutrient removal. One popular retrofit is the floating treatment wetland (FTW). Previous research has begun to address questions surrounding the use of FTWs as a wet pond retrofit, including attempts to quantify nutrient removal and surface coverage requirements for targeted pollutant removal. This project will deploy FTWs at two nutrient sensitive locations in Wilmington and Raleigh, NC to test the effectiveness of placing FTWs at the outlet of a system through pre- and post-installation water quality monitoring and wetland plant biomass analysis in order to close the knowledge gaps with FTWs to the extent necessary to prepare nutrient removal credit guidance for the NC DEQ SCM Credit Document and lead to the implementation of FTWs throughout NC.

Date: 01/27/21 - 6/30/23
Amount: $299,127.00
Funding Agencies: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Wilson’s Hominy Creek/ Hominy Swamp is a Nutrient Sensitive Water (NSW) with benthos impairment. NC State University and the City of Wilson are partnering to implement five storm water control measure (SCM) retrofits within the City Limits. The retrofits are varied and demonstrate a variety of improvements that can be made across the watershed going forward. They are: (1) the engineering of a headwaters basin to convert it into a functioning stormwater wetland, (2) the improvement of an eroding headwaters channel by either bank stabilizing or linear wetland channel creation, (3) retrofitting an existing wet pond with floating wetland islands, and (4) and (5) converting 2 alleyways into green alleys. In all, more than 130 watershed acres will be treated. In addition to the construction of these 5 retrofits, NC State and the City of Wilson will partner on multiple education programs. The first is a local wetland plant installation and maintenance workshop that will target local landscapers and City of Wilson maintenance staff. The second is a workshop that will be targeted at stormwater design and regulatory professionals highlighting specific retrofits constructed as part of this 319 grant. While the workshop series will be constructed state-wide, one of the offerings will be in the City of Wilson and will highlight these projects as part of a field tour. The City is able to provide a profound amount of match through two separate efforts. The first is the construction of a major ($1.9M) underground detention stormwater retrofit SCM in downtown and the second is applying $80,000 of a $150,000 EEG grant received for SCM design. Thus, the majority of the money requested in this grant is going towards installation (rather than being shared with a substantial amount of design costs). The City will also perform at least some of the construction for three of the SCMs to be constructed: the headwaters basin and both green alleys. A pair of watershed monitoring stations will be maintained and collected data analyzed by NC State. One monitoring station will focus on downtown Wilson runoff (and its consequent treatment); the second will focus on collective headwaters improvement. The two downtown green alley retrofits will be specifically monitored for hydrologic performance. The wet pond retrofit with floating wetland islands will be monitored for water quality improvement. Benthic macroinvertebrate testing will also be conducted at both watershed monitoring stations.

Date: 02/05/21 - 6/30/23
Amount: $255,804.00
Funding Agencies: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Bradley Creek is a tidal creek whose bacterial impairment threatens Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach resident’s recreational and economic opportunities, and ecological communities. In response, the City of Wilmington has set aggressive goals for volume reduction of runoff within the watershed as a way to control and remediate water quality. In an effort to help the city meet these goals, this project proposes creating one and retrofitting four stormwater management practices with improvements that will reduce water quantity and improve water quality within the watershed. These improvements include: 1. Retrofitting the pond in the Sam’s Club parking lot with a bulwark. The current design of the pond has water coming into the pond very near where it exits. This means that treatment time is limited. Installing a solid barrier between the inlet and outlet will force water to flow through more of the pond and provide more treatment. 2. Expanding and converting the wet pond at University Commons into a constructed stormwater wetland. The wetland will be much shallower and contain many more plants. This conversion will not only remove more pollutants, but it will also return more of the water to the underlying groundwater through infiltration. The space will also host much more biodiversity. 3. Retrofitting a swale, or grassed ditch, with native grass species and small dams to slow and pond the water to increase pollutant removal. 4. Disconnecting 8-10 downspouts in a residential townhome complex. Rather than having the gutter downspouts flow over pavement and parking areas, it will be redirected to flow over grass or other landscaping. This way the water can seep into the ground rather than flow into storm drains. 5. Converting a parking lot roundabout into a rain garden. A rain garden is a landscaped area that collects and temporarily ponds stormwater during rain events. The garden then treats the stormwater by allowing it to soak into the ground and be used by the growing plants. This conversion will not only treat stormwater that would have otherwise gone untreated, but it will also alleviate some minor flooding within the parking lot. Together, these 5 improvements will reduce the amount of runoff entering Bradley Creek and will improve the quality of the water that does trickle into the creek. Finally, City of Wilmington personnel and NCSU faculty will deliver multiple educational efforts, targeting both local citizens and the design community.

Date: 06/01/19 - 5/31/23
Amount: $290,444.00
Funding Agencies: Oldcastle Infrastructure (Formerly Oldcastle Precast, Inc.)

This project (“Field Monitoring of Oldcastle BioPod BioFilters and PerkFilter Cartridge Filter”) aims to explore the water quality performance of two proprietary stormwater control products in North Carolina. As management of exported nutrient pollution via stormwater runoff continues to be regulated in nutrient sensitive watersheds in North Carolina, there is a growing need for stormwater control measures, products, and devices with the capability to curtail nutrient loads from stormwater runoff. This project will test the treatment capabilities of both the BioPod and PerkFilter by Oldcastle Infrastructure as they treat stormwater runoff. BioPods are tree box filters that provide highly localized stormwater treatment in densely populated and highly urban areas. The PerkFilter is a cartridge filtration system used to remove pollutants from stormwater runoff as it flows through the system. For this research, two BioPods and two PerkFilters will be installed in central North Carolina. The four devices will treat stormwater runoff from watersheds consisting of parking lot and rooftop runoff. NCSU BAE will monitor hydrology and water quality of the four systems to evaluate overall sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, and metals removal capabilities over the monitoring period.

Date: 08/01/21 - 3/31/23
Amount: $58,033.00
Funding Agencies: NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund

The City of Asheville is constructing two wetlands in the River Arts District that will be monitored by NC State University. One of the wetlands will be retrofitted with a special media to determine if pollutant removal by wetlands can be enhanced. This project will occur for two years.

Date: 01/01/21 - 12/31/22
Amount: $199,008.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Swales are the most widely-used stormwater control measure (SCM) in the transportation environment, including linear rights-of-way, highway interchanges, operations and maintenance facilities, and secondary roadways. They are predominant because they are of low expense and easily fit into typical DOT rights-of-way. Swales are usually constructed with turf grass and other low-lying grasses, and recent research (much of which was conducted in North Carolina) demonstrates modest to moderate effectiveness regarding pollutant reduction. However, there are many circumstances when grass-lined swales are impractical, especially when located under a tree line so that the vegetation is shaded or in areas with steep slopes. This situation is conducive to rock lining in lieu of vegetation. Moreover, native deep-rooted grasses are often adapted to growth in swales, and these grasses have different – and less costly – maintenance needs than conventional low-lying turf grasses that need to be mowed. There is little to no information available on how rock-lined and native-deep rooted grass-lined swales perform with respect to water quality. Additionally, research is needed to assign a manning’s roughness coefficient by deep-rooted grasses to flow. Four existing swales and four existing bioswales located at NC State’s Sediment and Erosion Control Research and Education Facility (SECREF) will be used to evaluate water quality performance of alternatively-lined swales. Four of the swales to be tested are currently conventional grass-lined, with the other two being bioswales. Data from previously-conducted experiments will serve as a basis to compare the performance of alternative swale linings. Two different linings will be retrofitted into the existing swales/bioswales. One will be a rock lining (Class B, as specified by NCDOT); the second, a deep rooted native grass mix. Field tests will be conducted in 2021, after a thorough literature review is conducted in autumn 2020. The research team will reach out to NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit (REU) staff and also reach out to local contractors to determine the costs and availability of alternative swale linings to help NCDOT determine future swale designs. If alternatively-lined swales prove cheaper to maintain while providing at least comparable water quality treatment, the potential for less expensive, yet still safe, operations is likely. NCSU faculty, staff and students will conduct the following tasks as part of this proposal: (1) Conduct a literature review regarding alternative swale linings, included in this is an assessment of local availability and costs (2) Retrofit eight swales (four conventionally-drained and four bioswales) at SECREF. Characteristics of each of the 8 swales as outlined in Table 1. They include two liner types (rock and deep-rooted grass) and slopes (1% and 4%) (3) Run water quality tests, collect data at SECREF and then analyze and synthesize data (4) For two of the swales planted with deep-rooted grasses (Table 1), a manning’s roughness coefficient will be determined, using known flow rates, swale geometries, and slopes, while calculating flow height. (5) Based upon information gained from (3) and (4) above, NCSU will deliver design guidance to NCDOT personnel to help compare performance and maintenance needs of various swale linings under various conditions. The principal deliverable will be an end-of-project Final Report. Moreover, at least one journal article is expected to be produced as part of this research project. Data will be stored in a DPS workbook and later uploaded into the STORMDATA database. By better understanding and predicting swale performance under various lining and design configurations, NCDOT will be able to more efficiently manage runoff within its unique linear environment.

Date: 05/01/20 - 12/31/22
Amount: $147,516.00
Funding Agencies: City of Wilson

Faculty, staff, and students from NC State University’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering’ Stormwater Engineering Group (hereafter NCSU SEG) will design six different stormwater retrofits for future grant submission for the City of Wilson. These projects will all treat sub-catchments of Hominy Branch. The retrofits to be designed include: (1) a large, multi-acre off-line stormwater wetland, (2 and 3) a pair of green alleys in downtown Wilson, (4) a floating wetland island installation in an existing wet pond, (5) the development of an engineering structure and (6) a channel stabilization and linear wetland creation at the headwaters of Hominy Branch. As part of the SCM design, NCSU SEG will survey most of the projects, acquire permits, and monitor one of the tributaries. They will also assist the City of Wilson with the bidding process and construction supervision (were grants to be awarded).

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