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Table 1 lists the primary categories of urban runoff pollutants, pollutants associated with each category, typical concentrations, likely runoff sources, and potential effects. A runoff supply system was prepared in a water tank containing synthetic urban runoff with specific concentrations of solution as previously described (Li et al. 2007; Zhang et al. 2012; Hou & Zhang 2014) (Table 1). The runoff contained CODCr, TP, TN, and -N from roof and road surfaces, with average concentrations exceeding the 40 mg/L, 0.4 mg/L, 2.0 mg/L, and 2.0 mg/L limits set by the class V surface water quality standard (GB3838-2002) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China, respectively (Table 2). The runoff influent was obtained as follows: pharmaceutical influent was prepared in the laboratory, after which 28.8 L of influent solution containing 6.75 g of dextrose (C6H12O6), 2.2012 g of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), 0.8743 g of sodium nitrite (NaNO2), and 0.1845 g of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (AR, Sinopharm Chemical Reagent Co., Shanghai, China) in tap water (16–25 °C) was added to each column for every experimental cycle. The concentrations of COD, -N, N, and TP in the synthetic runoff water were 156.00–344.00 mg L−1, 2.25–7.19 mg L−1, 5.98–6.44 mg L−1, and 0.74–3.56 mg L−1, respectively. The pH in the synthetic runoff remained constant over the course of the experiment and was slightly alkaline for all treatments.

Table 1

Summary of urban runoff pollutants relevant to this study

CategoryParametersPossible sourcesPossible effectsSolution concentration (mg L−1)
Organic enrichment CODCr Urban runoff; agricultural runoff; landfills; septic tanks; atmospheric deposition; soil erosion Dissolved oxygen depletion; odors; toxicity toward fish and other aquatic organisms 250 
Nutrients TN Urban runoff; agricultural runoff; fertilizers; landfills; septic tanks; atmospheric deposition; soil erosion Surface water: algal overgrowth and blooms; ammonia toxicity. Ground water: nitrate toxicity 25 
-N 20 
-N 2.25 
TP 1.46 
CategoryParametersPossible sourcesPossible effectsSolution concentration (mg L−1)
Organic enrichment CODCr Urban runoff; agricultural runoff; landfills; septic tanks; atmospheric deposition; soil erosion Dissolved oxygen depletion; odors; toxicity toward fish and other aquatic organisms 250 
Nutrients TN Urban runoff; agricultural runoff; fertilizers; landfills; septic tanks; atmospheric deposition; soil erosion Surface water: algal overgrowth and blooms; ammonia toxicity. Ground water: nitrate toxicity 25 
-N 20 
-N 2.25 
TP 1.46 
Table 2

Water quality standards for various pollutants in China

Environmental quality standard of surface water in China (2002)
Parameters/Standard valueIIIIIIIVV
pH/ ≤ 6–9 6–9 6–9 6–9 6–9 
COD/ ≤ 15 15 20 30 40 
TP/ ≤ 0.02 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 
-N/ ≤ 0.15 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 
Environmental quality standard of surface water in China (2002)
Parameters/Standard valueIIIIIIIVV
pH/ ≤ 6–9 6–9 6–9 6–9 6–9 
COD/ ≤ 15 15 20 30 40 
TP/ ≤ 0.02 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 
-N/ ≤ 0.15 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 

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