Aquatic environment

First flush of storm runoff pollution from an urban catchment in China

LI Li-qing , YIN Cheng-qing , HE Qing-ci , KONG Ling-li


Received March 31, 2006,Revised July 09, 2006, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 295-299

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Storm runoff pollution process was investigated in an urban catchment with an area of 1.3 km2 in Wuhan City of China. The results indicate that the pollutant concentration peaks preceded the flow peaks in all of 8 monitored storm events. The intervals between pollution peak and flow peak were shorter in the rain events with higher intensity in the initial period than those with lower intensity. The fractions of pollution load transported by the first 30% of runoff volume (FF30) were 52.2%--72.1% for total suspended solids (TSS), 53.0%--65.3% for chemical oxygen demand (COD), 40.4%--50.6% for total nitrogen (TN), and 45.8%--3.2% for total phosphorus (TP), respectively. Runoff pollution was positively related to non-raining days before the rainfall. Intercepting the first 30% of runoff volume can remove 62.4% of TSS load, 59.4% of COD load, 46.8% of TN load, and 54.1% of TP load, respectively, according to all the storm events. It is suggested that controlling the first flush is a critical measure in reduction of urban stormwater pollution.

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