SUDS are being increasingly employed to control highway runoff and have the potential to protect groundwater and surface water quality by minimising the risks of both point and diffuse sources of pollution. While these systems are effective at retaining polluted solids by filtration and sedimentation processes, less is known of the detail of pollutant behaviour within SUDS structures. This paper reports on investigations carried out as part of a co-ordinated programme of controlled studies and field measurements at soft-engineered SUDS undertaken in the UK, observing the accumulation and behaviour of traffic-related heavy metals, oil and PAHs. The field data presented were collected from two extended detention basins serving the M74 motorway in the south-west of Scotland. Additional data were supplied from an experimental lysimeter soil core leaching study. Results show that basin design influences pollutant accumulation and behaviour in the basins. Management and/or control strategies are discussed for reducing the impact of traffic-related pollutants on the aqueous environment.

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