Analysis of build-up of heavy metals and volatile organics on urban roads in gold coast, Australia

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Urban water quality can be significantly impaired by the build-up of pollutants such as heavy metals and volatile organics on urban road surfaces due to vehicular traffic. Any control strategy for the mitigation of traffic related build-up of heavy metals and volatile organic pollutants should be based on the knowledge of their build-up processes. In the study discussed in this paper, the outcomes of a detailed experimental investigation into build-up processes of heavy metals and volatile organics are presented. It was found that traffic parameters such as average daily traffic, volume over capacity ratio and surface texture depth had similar strong correlations with the build-up of heavy metals and volatile organics. Multicriteria decision analyses revealed that that the 1-74 mm particulate fraction of total suspended solids (TSS) could be regarded as a surrogate indicator for particulate heavy metals in build-up and this same fraction of total organic carbon could be regarded as a surrogate indicator for particulate volatile organics build-up. In terms of pollutants affinity, TSS was found to be the predominant parameter for particulate heavy metals build-up and total dissolved solids was found to be the predominant parameter for the potential dissolved particulate fraction in heavy metals buildup. It was also found that land use did not play a significant role in the build-up of traffic generated heavy metals and volatile organics.

Keywords: heavy metals, pollutant build-up, traffic pollutants, urban water quality, volatile organics

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