The pollutant impacts of urban stormwater runoff on receiving waters are well documented in research literature. However, it is road surfaces that are commonly identified as the significant pollutant source. This paper presents the outcomes of an extensive program of research into the role of roof surfaces in urban water quality with particular focus on solids, nutrients and organic carbon. The outcomes confirmed that roof surfaces play an important role in influencing the pollutant characteristics of urban stormwater runoff. Pollutant build-up and wash-off characteristics for roads and roof surfaces were found to be appreciably different. The pollutant wash-off characteristics exhibited by roof surfaces show that it influences the first flush phenomenon more significantly than road surfaces. In most urban catchments, as roof surfaces constitute a higher fraction of impervious area compared with road surfaces, it is important that the pollutant generation role of roof surfaces is specifically taken into consideration in stormwater quality mitigation strategies.

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