USGS Nebraska Water Science Center

Monitoring the Effectiveness of Bioretention Cells


Water balance monitoring for two bioretention gardens in Omaha, Nebraska, 2011–14

By Kellan R. Strauch, David L. Rus, and Kent E. Holm

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5188

Bioretention gardens are used to help mitigate stormwater runoff in urban settings in an attempt to restore the hydrologic response of the developed land to a natural predevelopment response in which more water is infiltrated rather than routed directly to urban drainage networks. To better understand the performance of bioretention gardens in facilitating infiltration of stormwater in eastern Nebraska, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Douglas County Environmental Services and the Nebraska Environmental Trust, assessed the water balance of two bioretention gardens located in Omaha, Nebraska by monitoring the amount of stormwater entering and leaving the gardens. One garden is on the Douglas County Health Center campus, and the other garden is on the property of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.