Water Quality in a Changing Environment

The Highway-Runoff Databas (HRDB): A data warehouse and preprocessor for the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM)

  • Greg Granato (USGS)


The FHWA, the Transportation Research Board, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program have repeatedly identified a National highway-runoff database as a primary environmental research need over the past decade. Many highway-runoff studies have been done over the years to collect necessary data, but the data have not been available in a consistent and accessible electronic format. Furthermore, the computations for calculating runoff-quality statistics can be complex if one or more values are reported as being below one or more detection limits. The highway-runoff database (HRBD), published as FHWA-HEP-09-003, was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration to serve as a data warehouse for current and future highway-runoff data sets. The database can be used to document information about a data set, monitoring site(s), highway-runoff data (including precipitation, runoff, and event-mean concentrations of water-quality constituents), quality-assurance and quality-control data, and sediment-quality data. The HRDB application also was developed to serve as a data preprocessor for the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM). The HRDB application, which is the graphical user interface and associated computer code, can be used to facilitate estimation of statistical properties of runoff coefficients, runoff-quality statistics, and relations between water-quality variables in highway runoff from the available data. The highway runoff database currently (2014) includes 54,384 event-mean concentrations, from 4,186 storm events monitored at 117 study sites across the country. The HRDB provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for estimating the potential effects of highway runoff on receiving waters based on the expected quantity and quality of runoff. Ready availability of this highway-runoff data in a standard format and the ease of use of the graphical user interface should provide information to improve project delivery without compromising environmental protection.

How to Cite:

Granato, G., (2014) “The Highway-Runoff Databas (HRDB): A data warehouse and preprocessor for the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM)”, National Hydraulic Engineering Conference 2014 1(2014).

Rights: Copyright © 2014, Greg Granato

Publisher Notes

  • Panel moderated by Scott Taylor, RBF.
  • About the Presenters: Gregory Granato is a Civil Engineer working as a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. He has done several stormwater projects in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. He is author or coauthor of more than 30 stormwater publications, he has served on 3 NCHRP panels, and is serving on the technical review panel for the International BMP database. He developed the Stochastic Empirical Dilution Model (SELDM) as a replacement for the 1990 Driscoll runoff model in cooperation with the FHWA. Currently, he is working with FHWA to provide training and technical support to help State DOTs adopt and apply this stormwater model.

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Published on
20 Aug 2014
Peer Reviewed