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Stormwater Runoff Quality from Different Surfaces in an Urban Catchment in Beijing, China

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Urban stormwater runoff quality, widely investigated around the world, has been monitored less in Beijing, China, which impedes the municipal government to use best management practices to protect surface water. In this study, rainwater and stormwater runoff samples from roofs, roads, and a lawn on the campus of the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES) (Beijing, China) and from a ring road, with heavy traffic, have been sampled and analyzed for 31 storm events from June 2004 to August 2005. Total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 5), total nitrogen, and total phosphorus concentrations in rainwater and runoff ranged over 2 or more orders of magnitude, meaning that the highest concentration of a certain pollutant did not always occur in a certain kind of runoff. Runoff contained significantly higher concentrations of pollutants than rainwater. On the campus of RCEES, TSS and total phosphorus in runoff samples from the lawn and roads were significantly higher than those from roofs, while the COD, BOD 5, and total nitrogen concentrations were not significantly different in runoff among surfaces. Compared with runoff from the roads on campus, runoff from the ring road contained more COD and total nitrogen, but less TSS, BOD 5, and total phosphorus. All pollutants measured in runoff from roofs on campus and from the ring road showed a peak concentration in starting runoff, which then decreased sharply. The peak concentrations of COD, BOD 5, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus in the roof runoff increased with the increase in time of the antecedent dry period. Thus, urban stormwater pollution control, especially for first-flush control, is of great importance for the full use of rainwater and prevention of water pollution.
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Keywords: lawn; pollution; road; roof; runoff; urban stormwater

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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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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