Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Civil Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Lan Zhang

First Reader

Dr. David Roke

Second Reader

Dr. Christopher Miller


Stormwater runoff is a major environmental concern in dense urban areas. Runoff in these areas contributes to flooding as well as water quality problems in the streams, lakes, and reservoirs downstream. The Cuyahoga River is the receiving waterbody for the City of Akron’s stormwater runoff. Currently, combined sewer overflow (CSO) from the city's outdated sewer system is the overriding reason for poor water quality in the Cuyahoga River.

Implementation of green infrastructure is one way to mitigate problems associated with stormwater runoff from urban areas. In this study, hydrologic modeling of the Little Cuyahoga watershed was conducted to determine how different levels of implementation of green infrastructure may cause different hydrological responses, such as a decrease in total stormwater runoff.

In this study, the reduction in peak discharge at the outlet of the sub- watershed was evaluated by adjusting the curve number for each subbasin based on a level of implementation of green infrastructure. The HEC-HMS modeling simulation results concluded that moderately high levels of green infrastructure implementation would be required to reduce the outflow of the study area by a significant amount, solely based on the re-classification of land use for medium- and high-intensity urban areas. Although they are outside the scope of this study, there are added benefits to the implementation of green infrastructure, such as improvements in water quality.

The cumulative benefits of both reduction in water volume and improvement of water quality make green infrastructure an excellent choice for the rehabilitation of a watershed. These improvements directly correlate to a significant reduction of construction and maintenance costs for hydrologic infrastructure of any major city.