Parking Lot Solutions


On April 19, 2007 students from the Pleasant Hills Middle School visited the Ice Skating Rink Parking Lot in South Park County Park. they were on a mission to gather data concerning stormwater runoff from this large impervious area and to assess water quality in Catfish Run. From this information they developed ideas for decreasing the effect of this runoff on Catfish Run.

The Assessment

Students performed a physical assessment of the parking lot. They estimated the area of the lot, estimated the number of parking spaces and assessed the types of pollutants that might enter Catfish Run with runoff from the parking lot.
  • Oil, Grease
  • Salt in winter
  • Increased temperature in summer
  • Pollutants from atmospheric deposition
  • Discarded Trash
They also estimated the number of parking spaces that would actually be necessary at the site. They utilized the Runoff Calculator to estimate the amount of runoff generated from a given storm type and compared this to the amount of runoff from the forested slope across the stream. They also noted that there was little riparian buffer on the parking lot side of the stream and it mainly consisted of mowed grass.

Students performed a chemical assessment of Catfish Run. They measured pH of the stream as well as dissolved and supspended substances in the water. They also assessed the odor and color of the stream and noted possible sources of contaminants including an unknown effluent from a culvert and a sewer line running along the stream.

Students collected information necessary to estimate discharge, or volume of flow, in Catfish Run. They calculated average depth, width, and velocity for a 12 ft stream reach and used this information to estimate volume of flow.

Students also performed a biological assessment of Catfish Run by utilizing a kick seine net. The macroinvertebrates collected were ID'd to family. This information was utilized to calculate a Beck Biotic Index which provides an estimate of pollution level of stream. Macroinvertebrates found in Catfish Run included:
  • Cranefly
  • Damselfly
  • Caddisfly
  • Midge
  • Amphipod
  • Sowbug
  • Aquatic worm
damselfly nymph

damselfly nymph

damselfly adult

damselfly adult

cranefly larvae

Cranefly larvae

cranefly adult

Cranefly adult