This paper reviews the evolution of bioretention systems, a promising at-source storm-water best management practice. The introduction of bioretention systems in the 1990s by Prince George’s County, Md. is examined along with the motivations behind the development of the systems. A summary of the research findings on the performance of bioretention systems is provided including proposed design modifications to improve the field performance. Also included is an overview of past and current bioretention design guidelines in North America, as well as a discussion of issues surrounding the public adoption and implementation of bioretention systems. Potential alternative uses for the systems are highlighted and a review of bioretention modeling work is provided. Finally, the paper outlines research needs and anticipated future work necessary to bring about the widespread use of bioretention systems.
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