In the past three decades, scientific research has focused on the preservation of water resources, and in particular, on the polluting impact of urban areas on natural water bodies. One approach to this research has involved the development of tools to describe the phenomena that take place on the urban catchment during both wet and dry periods. Research has demonstrated the importance of the integrated analysis of all the transformation phases that characterise the delivery and treatment of urban water pollutants from source to outfall. With this aim, numerous integrated urban drainage models have been developed to analyse the fate of pollution from urban catchments to the final receiving waters, simulating several physical and chemical processes. Such modelling approaches require calibration, and for this reason, researchers have tried to address two opposing needs: the need for reliable representation of complex systems, and the need to employ parsimonious approaches to cope with the usually insufficient, especially for urban sources, water quality data. The present paper discusses the application of a bespoke model to a complex integrated catchment: the Nocella basin (Italy). This system is characterised by two main urban areas served by two wastewater treatment plants, and has a small river as the receiving water body. The paper describes the monitoring approach that was used for model calibration, presents some interesting considerations about the monitoring needs for integrated modelling applications, and provides initial results useful for identifying the most relevant polluting sources.

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