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Untreated runoff quality from roof and road surfaces in a low intensity rainfall climate.

Authors
  • Charters, Frances J1
  • Cochrane, Thomas A2
  • O'Sullivan, Aisling D3
  • 1 Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: [email protected] , (France)
  • 2 Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: [email protected] , (New Zealand)
  • 3 Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: [email protected] , (New Zealand)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Science of the total environment
Publication Date
Apr 15, 2016
Volume
550
Pages
265–272
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.093
PMID: 26820930
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sediment and heavy metals in stormwater runoff are key pollutants of urban waterways, and their presence in stormwater is driven by climatic factors such as rainfall intensity. This study describes the total suspended solids (TSS) and heavy metal concentrations found in runoff from four different urban surfaces within a residential/institutional catchment, in a climate where rainfall is typically of low intensity (<5.1mm·h(-1)). The results were compared to untreated runoff quality from a compilation of international studies. The road runoff had the highest TSS concentrations, while copper and galvanized roof runoff had the highest copper and zinc concentrations, respectively. Pollutant concentrations were found to be significantly different between surfaces; quantification and prediction of pollutant contributions from urban surfaces should thus take account of the different surface materials, instead of being aggregated into more generalized categories such as land use. The TSS and heavy metal concentrations were found to be at the low to medium end of ranges observed internationally, except for total copper and zinc concentrations generated by dissolution of copper and galvanized roofing material respectively; these concentrations were at least as high as those reported internationally. TSS wash-off from the roofs was seen to be a source-limited process, where all available TSS is washed off during the rain event despite the low intensity rainfall, whereas both road TSS and heavy metals wash-off from roof and road surfaces appeared to all be transport-limited and therefore some carryover of pollutants occurs between rain events. A first flush effect was seen from most surfaces for TSS, but not for heavy metals. This study demonstrates that in low intensity rainfall climates, quantification of untreated runoff quality from key individual surface types in a catchment are needed to enable development of targeted and appropriately sized stormwater treatment systems.

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