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Open Access Variations in Highway Stormwater Runoff Quality and Stormwater Treatment Performance in Relation to the Age of Porous Friction Courses

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A program of highway runoff sampling was conducted at four sites in Auckland, New Zealand. Concentrations of suspended solids, particulate copper, and zinc were significantly lower in runoff from a highway paved with a 1-year-old porous friction course (PFC) than in runoff at the other sites. Differences in total metal concentrations were less marked, reflecting relatively high concentrations of dissolved copper and zinc in runoff from the 1-year-old PFC. Runoff quality at a highway site that had been paved with a PFC 6 years previously was similar to that discharged from two impermeable roads, indicating a reduction over time in the quality of runoff discharged from PFCs. Runoff from the highways paved with 1- and 6-year-old PFCs was treated by a grass swale and wet pond, respectively. Both treatments were effective, the former predominantly through the lowering of dissolved metal concentrations and the latter through the lowering of particulate metal concentrations. These results indicate that stormwater treatment can improve the quality of runoff discharged from PFCs, irrespective of their age, provided that treatment is targeted to the predominant contaminant phase present.

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Keywords: copper; grass swale; highway runoff; porous asphalt; porous friction course; stormwater quality; stormwater treatment; suspended solids; wet pond; zinc

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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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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