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Urban Stormwater Tracing with the Naturally Occurring Deuterium Isotope

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Measurements of naturally occurring deuterium isotope (δD) assist in tracing water components during wet weather flows in an urban watershed. A transect of installations in the vadose and saturated zones was completed in the vicinity of a small stream and storm sewer. High-resolution deuterium mass spectrometry discriminated between storm sewer leaks and other water sources such as direct runoff, bank seepage, and groundwater flow to a stream channel. Isotope hydrograph separation indicates that groundwater or vadose water predominantly contributed to the volume of stream water compared to direct surface runoff during a storm event. Significant differences in δD in the subsurface suggest that multiple flow components exist beyond the time period of a storm event. Deuterium measurements are helpful for modeling leaks and seepage and refining mass balances of flows in urban watersheds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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