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Development of an indicator for characterizing particle size distribution and quality of stormwater runoff

Authors
  • Wang, Qian
  • Zhang, Qionghua
  • Dzakpasu, Mawuli
  • Lian, Bin
  • Wu, Yaketon
  • Wang, Xiaochang C.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 05, 2018
Volume
25
Issue
8
Pages
7991–8001
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-1074-z
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Stormwater particles washed from road-deposited sediments (RDS) are traditionally characterized as either turbidity or total suspended solids (TSS). Although these parameters are influenced by particle sizes, neither of them characterizes the particle size distribution (PSD), which is of great importance in pollutant entrainment and treatment performance. Therefore, the ratio of turbidity to TSS (Tur/TSS) is proposed and validated as a potential surrogate for the bulk PSD and quality of stormwater runoff. The results show an increasing trend of Tur/TSS with finer sizes of both RDS and stormwater runoff. Taking heavy metals (HMs, including Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, and Ni) as typical pollutants in stormwater runoff, the concentrations (mg/kg) were found to vary significantly during rainfall events and tended to increase significantly with Tur/TSS. Therefore, Tur/TSS is a valid parameter to characterize the PSD and quality of stormwater. The high negative correlations between Tur/TSS and rainfall intensity demonstrate that stormwater with higher Tur/TSS generates under low intensity and, thus, characterizes small volume, finer sizes, weak settleability, greater mobility, and bioavailability. Conversely, stormwater with lower Tur/TSS generates under high intensity and, thus, characterizes large volume, coarser sizes, good settleability, low mobility, and bioavailability. These results highlight the need to control stormwater with high Tur/TSS. Moreover, Tur/TSS can aid the selection of stormwater control measures with appropriate detention storage, pollution loading, and removal effectiveness of particles.

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