Kongju National University, in the South Korean city of Cheonan has become a centre for research into LID (Low Impact Development), sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Environment, and others. LID is the term preferred in Korea for what are known in the UK as SUDS, and broadly as BMPs in many parts of North America, and a variety of other terms in other parts of the world; passive treatment stormwater management landscape features. As well as detailed field investigations of filter drains, constructed ponds, and other features, the research has been undertaken by a combination of laboratory and full scale test units built around the Kongju campus.
Nine LID facilities have been established at the Kongju National University campus, Cheonan City, as part of a national government funded project. Monitoring has been conducted since 2009, so some six years of experience has been accrued (and several doctorates). The features include a bioretention unit, a rain garden, an infiltration raingarden, an infiltration trench, various mini-wetlands, and several different planters. In 5 sites infiltration is possible, in 4 it is not. All the systems are vegetated except the filter trench. The following water quality parameters have been studied: total suspended solids, nutrients, heavy metals, toxic organics, oil and grease, BOD, COD, Bacteria, turbidity, pH and conductivity. Treatment mechanisms investigated include: adsorption, filtration, settling, biological conversion, biological uptake, and ion exchange.
The units are supported by explanatory signs with text and diagrams. Why not at more British campus features too?
Ecological engineering is the academic focus of the current research led by Prof. Lee-Hyung Kim at Kongju National University, and Prof Kim is advising raingardens research in the UK too, working with C & D Associates LLP. As well as the research, the campus examples are useful for teaching students, for demonstrating the technology to visitors to the university, and as demonstrations for local authorities and businesses wishing to learn about the techniques.
Kongju National University LID features, Cheonan City, Korea.
Photos taken by BJ D’Arcy, April 2015.