For three years (2001–2003), sediment samples were extracted from about 100 silt traps (STs) spread out all over the combined sewer network of Paris. These STs, whose volume varied from 21 to 325 m3, were cleaned out as soon as their filling capacities were reached. All these sediment samples were analysed for physicochemical parameters (pH, organic matter (OM) content, grain size distribution), total hydrocarbons (THs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) selected from the priority list of the US-EPA, and heavy metals (Al, Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Sn, Fe, Mn, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn). For each silt trap, six sediment samples were extracted before the clean out procedure: three samples were extracted from the sediment surface (5–10 cm depth) and three other samples were extracted from a deeper sediment layer (approximately at 1 m depth). The location of these sampling points allowed us to take into account the possible spatial fluctuation of pollutant loads in each ST. The first results showed that there were some important inter-site variations of pollutant contents. These variations have to be taken into account by the sewer manager for the fate of the ST sediments. Therefore, we decided to assess the grain size distribution of some pollutants. OM, heavy metals and PAHs have been investigated on the five grain size fractions (>20 mm, 8–20 mm, 0.5–8 mm, 50–500 μm, <50 μm) for 9 STs, which have been selected on their heavy metal content basis. This work aims at understanding the distribution of the pollutant contents and at improving the knowledge of the ST sediment pollution.

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