Characterising stormwater runoff quality provides useful insights into the dynamics of pollutant generation and wash off rates. These can be used to prioritise stormwater management strategies. This study examined the effects of a low intensity rainfall climate on zinc contributions from different impermeable urban surface types. First flush (FF) and steady state samples were collected from seven different surfaces for characterisation, and the data were also used to calibrate an event-based pollutant load model to predict individual ‘hotspot’ surfaces across the catchment. Unpainted galvanised roofs generated very high concentrations of zinc, primarily in the more biologically available dissolved form. An older, unpainted galvanised roof had FF concentrations averaging 32,338 μg/L, while the new unpainted roof averaged 4,782 μg/L. Roads and carparks also had elevated zinc, but FF concentrations averaged only 822–1,584 μg/L. Modelling and mapping expected zinc loads from individual impermeable surfaces across the catchment identified specific commercial roof surfaces to be targeted for zinc management. The results validate a policy strategy to replace old galvanised roof materials and avoid unpainted galvanised roofing in future urban development for better urban water quality outcomes. In the interim, readily-implemented treatment options are required to help mitigate chronic zinc impacts on receiving waterways.
Characterising urban zinc generation to identify surface pollutant hotspots in a low intensity rainfall climate
F. J. Charters, T. A. Cochrane, A. D. O'Sullivan; Characterising urban zinc generation to identify surface pollutant hotspots in a low intensity rainfall climate. Water Sci Technol 27 September 2017; 76 (6): 1370–1377. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2017.306
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