First described are the French actions which have been developed over the last 20 years in order to prevent various pollution impacts upon receiving waters. However, the remaining high levels of pollution partly explain the recent attention that has been paid to urban storm water pollution. The main elements that are encountered today in the study of urban pollution include: burden of existing sewer systems, reliability of urban pollution impact estimates, gaps between field demands and researchers' actual knowledge. Consequently it is proposed that a methodological approach needs to be developed to deal with two levels of investigation: the practical level and the research level.

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