Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1192–1207 | Cite as

Reduction of non-point source contaminants associated with road-deposited sediments by sweeping

  • Do-Gun Kim
  • Hee-Man Kang
  • Seok-Oh KoEmail author
Water Industry: Water-Energy-Health Nexus


Road-deposited sediments (RDS) on an expressway, residual RDS collected after sweeping, and RDS removed by means of sweeping were analyzed to evaluate the degree to which sweeping removed various non-point source contaminants. The total RDS load was 393.1 ± 80.3 kg/km and the RDS, residual RDS, and swept RDS were all highly polluted with organics, nutrients, and metals. Among the metals studied, Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Ca, and Fe were significantly enriched, and most of the contaminants were associated with particles within the size range from 63 μm to 2 mm. Sweeping reduced RDS and its associated contaminants by 33.3–49.1% on average. We also measured the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of RDS in the present work, representing to our knowledge the first time that this has been done; we found that RDS contains a significant amount of biodegradable organics and that the reduction of BOD by sweeping was higher than that of other contaminants. Significant correlations were found between the contaminants measured, indicating that the organics and the metals originated from both exhaust and non-exhaust particles. Meanwhile, the concentrations of Cu and Ni were higher in 63 μm–2 mm particles than in smaller particles, suggesting that some metals in RDS likely exist intrinsically in particles, rather than only as adsorbates on particle surfaces. Overall, the results in this study showed that sweeping to collect RDS can be a good alternative for reduction of contaminants in runoff.


Expressway Heavy metals Non-point source pollution Organics Road-deposited sediments Sweeping 



This work was partially supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant (NRF-2016R1A2B4015385) and the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as “GAIA (Geo-Advanced Innovative Action) Project (no. 2015000550004). We appreciate the laboratory assistance provided by Hyun-Seop Kim.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringKyung Hee UniversityYonginKorea
  2. 2.Construction and Environment Research Division, Expressway and Transportation Research InstituteKorea Expressway CorporationHwaseongKorea

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