In Amsterdam zinc coming from the roofs and gutters of the buildings accounts for about 50% of the zinc emissions into the surface water (i.e. canals and rivers). This causes water and sediment pollution. Dumping strongly polluted sediment costs ten times more then dumping less polluted mud. Therefore the City of Amsterdam has developed a policy for reducing the zinc emissions from buildings based on the current environmental legislation and the current national targets for surface water quality. Zinc roofs on new and renovated buildings are not permitted. Run off water from zinc roofs of existing buildings is allowed to contain a maximum of 200 μg/l zinc. For the zinc gutters of houses, Amsterdam will promote measures to reduce zinc emissions. To investigate the feasibility of measures, research has been carried out on the zinc emissions of gutters and the effect of covering gutters with an impermeable foil. This research shows clearly that covering zinc gutters with EPDM foil reduces the zinc emissions by 90% from 8.5 to 0.88 gram per square metre per year including the atmospheric deposition.

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