Hydraulic Performance and Pollutant Concentration Profile in a Stormwater Runoff Filtration Systems

  • Tadele Measho HaileEmail author
  • Gerhard Hobiger
  • Gerhard Kammerer
  • Roza Allabashi
  • Birgit Schaerfinger
  • Maria Fuerhacker


Stormwater filtration system has proven to be effective for the removal of dissolved and particulate pollutants from roadways and car parking areas. However, the long-term treatment performance of filtration systems strongly depends on the hydraulic conductivity and sorption capacity of the filter media. This paper sought to provide information regarding the hydraulic performance, characteristics and metal concentration profiles in sediments accumulated at the surface of filtration systems (SDPL) and core filter media (FMC). The lifespan of the filter media was used to estimate the lifespan of the filter media. The results showed that saturated hydraulic conductivity of the filtration systems have significantly reduced over the operational time, yet acceptable (Kf = 5.9 × 10−5 to 1.4 × 10−4 m/s). The accumulated sediments (SDPL) were predominantly composed of fine particles with 70 % < 63 μm but the heavy metals were rather uniformly distributed in the different size fractions. The concentrations of heavy metals, particularly Cu, Pb and Zn were significantly higher in the SDPL and decreased with depth of the filter bed. However, Cr and Ni increased with depth of filter media demonstrating their removal was mainly by adsorption. Concentrations of Ba, Mn, Ti and V were comparable to Zn levels indicating comparable concentrations in roadway runoff. Simultaneous adsorption of multiple heavy metals in a column experiment demonstrated that the filter media could remain operational for over 34 years. However, there is a significant concern about their lifespan, particularly due to significant reduction in the hydraulic performance and the possibility of clogging of the systems over time. Therefore, to minimize hydraulic failure, the accumulated sediment be scraped off every 7 years.


Stormwater Heavy metals Filter media Filtration Hydraulic conductivity Sorption 



This study was conducted under the projects “ÖNORM and SARIT.” The Project was supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the Company SW Umwelttechnik AG. They are gratefully acknowledged for providing funds.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadele Measho Haile
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerhard Hobiger
    • 3
  • Gerhard Kammerer
    • 2
  • Roza Allabashi
    • 1
  • Birgit Schaerfinger
    • 1
  • Maria Fuerhacker
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, Department of Water-Atmosphere-EnvironmentUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management, Department of Water-Atmosphere-EnvironmentUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Geological Survey of AustriaViennaAustria

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