Results and Findings From 15 Years of Sustainable Urban Storm Water Management

Results and Findings From 15 Years of Sustainable Urban Storm Water Management

Joachim Sartor Mirka Mobilia Antonia Longobardi 

Department of Civil Engineering, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, Italy

| |
| | Citation



In accordance with the latest german  regulations, the basic idea of the project “sustainable urban storm Water management”, funded by the trier university of applied sciences, germany, is to restore the natural water balance in urban areas to avoid the widely recognized disadvantages of runoff from impervious surfaces. To improve the components of such concepts and their hydrological simulation approaches, a one-family house in Western germany  was monitored in this respect over 15 years (1998–2012). It comprised a green roof, as well as storm water infiltration and utilization. Measurements included precipitation and runoff. This data set was used for calibration of storm-runoff model approaches with increasing complexity and for simulation of hydrological green roof performance under different climate conditions (local and mediterranean). Also, a long-term simulation using differing arrangements was conducted, e.g. linkage of additional storm water from a pitched concrete roof to the green roof. The investigations revealed that the most relevant model component in hydrological green roof simulation is the calculation of the evapotranspiration process. some results could be checked against values from german regulations. The most relevant practical findings are that the green roof proved itself to be an excellent “filter” for the storm water utilization tank and that the linkage between a pitched roof section and the green roof proved its worth providing additional water supply for the vegetation in rain-scarce periods, as well as a retention facility during heavy storm events. 


evaporation calculation, hydrological green roof behaviour, storm water utilization, urban storm water management, water balance simulation


[1] Sartor, J., Sustainable Urban Storm Water Management. Final Project Report (in German). Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany, 2017.

[2] German Water Association (DWA). Standard A 100 – Guideline of integrated urban drainage, 2006.

[3] DWA. Draft of standard A 102 – Fundamentals of Management and Treatment of Storm Water to be Discharged in Water Courses, 2016.

[4] German Association of Sewage Technology, Storm water management in urban areas to approximate natural flow conditions. (in German), Korrespondenz Abwasser, 4(46), pp. 575–580, 1989.

[5] Sartor, J., The significance of the water balance in sustainable storm water management. Flood control today – sustainable water management (in German), eds. S. Heiden, R. Erb, & F. Sieker, Erich Schmidt Publishers, Berlin, pp. 287–308, 2001

[6] Meßer, J. & Gall, S., Matched storm water infiltration as compensation for the interference to the groundwater recharge due to building development (in German). Korrespondenz Abwasser, 1 (63), pp. 22 – 27, 2016

[7] Schlichtig, B., Dittmer, U., Haas, U., Besler, H., Langner, J., Henrichs, M. & Uhl, M., Steps to a flexible management of the urban water cycle (in German). Wasser und Abfall, 4(57), pp. 10–15, 2014

[8] Sartor, J., Is storm water infiltration from developed areas really sustainable? (in German) Wasser und Abfall, 7–8(4), pp. 24–28, 2002.

[9] German Standard: DIN 1989 – Storm water utilization facilities, 2002.

[10] Uhl, M., Schiedt, L., Henneberg, M., Mann, G., Long-term study about flow behavior of green roofs (in German). Wasser und Boden, 3(55), pp. 1–20, 2003.

[11] Scherer, I., Henrichs, M., Uhl, M., Schuetz, T., Weiler, M., Hackenbroch, K., König, F. & Freytag, T., Planning tools and management concepts for the water resources in urban areas (in German). Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft, 4(10), pp. 221–228, 2017.

[12] DWA: Advisory guideline AT V-DVWK-M 165 – Requirements for storm-runoffcalculations in urban drainage, 2003.

[13] DWA: Advisory guideline DVWK-M 238 – Determination of evaporation from land and water surfaces, 1996.

[14] Meteorological station Brauneberg; Agrarmeteorologie Rheinland-Pfalz, available at

[15] The Landscaping and Landscape Development Research Society eV. (FLL): Guideline for the Planning, Execution and Upkeep of Green-Roof Sites, 2008.

[16] Mobilia, M., Longobardi, A. & Sartor, J., Green roofs hydrological performance under different climate conditions; WSEAS Transactions on Environment and Development, 2015, available at

[17] Mobilia, M., Longobardi, A. & Sartor, J., Including a-priori assessment of actual evapotranspiration for green roof daily scale hydrological modelling. MDPI water, 2017, available at