Treatability aspects of urban stormwater stressors

Abstract

Pollution from diffuse sources (pollution from contaminants picked up and carried into surface waters by stormwater runoff) has been identified as a significant source of water quality problems in the U.S. scientists and engineers continue to seek solutions that will allow them to optimize existing technologies and develop new ones that will provide the best possible protection to people, wildlife, and the environment. This paper addresses the various pollutants or stressors in urban stormwater, including flow (shear force), pathogens, suspended solids/sediment, toxicants (organic and metals), nutrients, oxygen demanding substances, and coarse solids. A broad overview of the pollutants removed and the removal mechanisms by and of conventional best management practices (BMPs) is also presented. The principal treatment mechanisms of conventional wet ponds, vegetative swales/buffer strips, and wetlands are sedimentation and filtration. These mechanisms have the capability to remove significant amounts of suspended solids or particulate matter and are a vital component of strategies to reduce pollutant loads to receiving waters. In addition, because most of the nation’s receiving water violations are caused by pathogen indicator bacteria, it is of utmost importance that research efforts address this problem. Further research is also needed on the treatment of emerging contaminants in BMPs and on the costs and affects of maintenance and maintenance schedules on the long-term performance of BMPs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Economic Research Service, Resource Economics Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, Washington, DC, USA, 2000

  2. 2.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our Built and Natural Environments, a Technical Review of the Interaction between Land Use, Transportation and Environmental Quality. US EPA Report No. 231/R-00-005, Washington, DC, USA, 2000

  3. 3.

    Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Quality of Our Nation’s Waters: 2000. US EPA Report No. 841/R-02-001, Washington, DC, USA, 2002

  4. 4.

    Muthukrishnan S, Madge B, Selvakumar A, Field R, Sullivan D. The Use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Urban Watersheds. In: US EPA, ed. National Risk Management Research Laboratory & Lancaster. Cincinnati: DEStech Publications, Inc., 2005

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Lager J, Smith W G, Finn R M, Finemore E J. Urban Stormwater Management and Technology - Update and User’s Guide. EPA-600/8-77-014. NTIS No. 275 654. Office of Research and Development, US EPA, Cincinnati, USA 1977

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Pitt R E, Maestre R, Morquecho R, Williamson D. Collection and examination of a municipal separate storm sewer system database. stormwater and urban water systems modeling. In: James W, ed. Models and Applications to Urban Water Systems, Vol. 12. Ontario: CHI. Guelph, 2004, 257–294

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Water Environment Research Foundation. International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database: Pollutant Category Technical Summaries Research Digest. Denver: Wright Water Engineers, Inc. and Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., 2011

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Corporation S D X. http://www.sdix.com/Products/Water-Quality-Tests/Microtox.aspx (accessed August 2, 2011)

  9. 9.

    Pitt R, Robertson B, Barron P, Ayyoubi A, Clark S. Stormwater Treatment at Critical Areas: the Multi-Chambered Treatment Train (MCTT). EPA/600/R-99/017. Wet Weather Flow Management Program, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, US EPA, Cincinnati, USA, 1999

  10. 10.

    Encyclopedia of Public Health. http://www.enotes.com/publichealth-encyclopedia/ames-test (accessed August 2, 2011)

  11. 11.

    Spiegel S J, Tift T, Murphy C. Evaluation of Urban Runoff and Combined Sewer Overflow Mutagenicity. EPA-600/2-84/116, NTIS No. PB 84-211 168. Office of Research and Development, US EPA, Cincinnati. USA, 1984

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    O’shea M, Field R. Detection and disinfection of pathogens in storm-generated flows. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1992, 38(4): 267–276

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Pitt R. Urban Bacteria Sources and Control in the Lower Rideau River Watershed, Ottawa, Ontario. Ontario: Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 1983

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Hunt W F, Jarrett A R, Smith J T, Sharkey L J. Evaluating bioretention hydrology and nutrient removal at three field sites in North Carolina. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 2006, 132(6): 600–608

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anthony N. Tafuri.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tafuri, A.N., Field, R. Treatability aspects of urban stormwater stressors. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng. 6, 631–637 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-012-0420-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • stormwater
  • wet weather flow
  • urban runoff