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Revision as of 20:16, 8 November 2019

Caution: This is a test page for the Minnesota Stormwater Manual

This page provides information on event mean concentrations of total phosphorus and dissolved phosphorus in urban stormwater runoff. For a discussion of phosphorus in stormwater runoff, including information on sources, fate, and water quality impacts, see Phosphorus.


Event mean concentration (EMCs) are used in several models for predicting water quality impacts from stormwater runoff and stormwater treatment practices. This page provides summary information that can be used for selecting appropriate EMCs. For a discussion of event mean concentrations, see Stormwater pollutant concentrations and event mean concentrations.

[[alert|Many factors affect phosphorus concentrations in stormwater. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of event mean concentrations, We recommend you first read Stormwater pollutant concentrations and event mean concentrations|alert-info}}


We conducted a review of literature to develop the EMCs shown on this page. Nearly all studies provided summary information; we therefore did not analyze raw data with the exception of data from Capitol Region Watershed District.

Data from the following studies was used to generate emcs for total phosphorus.

Phosphorus emcs

The following table summarizes results from our literature review. The table includes a range of values observed in the literature. Note this range does not represent a statistically-derived range but instead is based on a combination of data analysis and best professional judgement. For example, we did analyze the data for outliers, but also omitted entire studies if we felt the data were not representative of typical conditions likely to be encountered in Minnesota. To see the full range of values compiled from the literature, open the Excel spreadsheet containing the data.

Event mean concentrations for total phosphorus. This table was updated October 31, 2019. We retained data from the previous table, but we recommend using the median values from a literature review (3rd column). To see supporting information used to derive this table, link here.
Link to this table

Land cover/land use Range (mg/L) Median from literature review (mg/L)1 Mean from literature review (mg/L)1 Previous tabled value (mg/L)1
Commercial2, 3 0.20 - 0.34 0.20 0.34 0.22
Industrial2, 3 0.23 - 0.55 0.31 0.73 0.26
Residential3 0.26 - 0.38 0.36 0.38 0.30
High-density/Multi-family residential2, 3 0.28 - 0.40 0.28 0.28 0.27 to 0.32
Medium density residential 0.18 - 0.40 0.18 0.51
Low density residential 0.24 - 0.40 0.24 0.29
Freeways/transportation3 0.25 - 0.45 0.35 0.53 0.25
Mixed 0.25 - 0.45 0.29 0.89
Parks and recreation2 0.04
Open space2, 3 0.12 - 0.31 0.13 0.41 0.31
Conventional roof 0.05 - 0.20 0.09 0.27
Public/semi public (institutional)2, 3 0.18 - 0.40 0.26 0.42 0.18
Cropland2 0.32
Forest/shrub/grassland12 0.04
Open water2 0.01
Wetlands2 0.01 to 0.044
Farmsteads2 0.46
Forest 0.05 - 0.25 0.25 0.14

1We recommend using the median from literature reviews and not the means or previous values.
2 Minnehaha Creek Watershed district, 2003
3 Robert Pitt et al., 2004
4 Average for large wetlands and wetland complexes. Individual wetlands should be monitored to determine source/sink behavior.

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