Historical, high-resolution rain series are the backbone of modern combined sewer overflow (CSO) structure design. These rain series are the input to the computational estimation of the performance of the measures with respect to CSO pollution abatement. However, those historical precipitation measurements are available at only a few locations. Frequently rain series have to be used from gauging stations at a significant distance. In order to judge and to compensate for this influence an estimate between rain characteristics and combined sewer outflow (CSO) performance indicators would be useful. In this paper such correlations have been sought for a collection of 37 rain series covering large areas of Europe. It was found that the mean annual rain volume can explain most of the variances for the performance indicators Number of overflows and CSO volume. For explaining the spatial differences in the efficiency of the CSO structure another rain characteristic, i.e. the maximum event with a return period of one year, is to be used.

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