IWA Publishing

Combining multimedia models with integrated urban water system models for micropollutants


Integrated urban water system (IUWS) modeling aims at assessing the quality of the surface water receiving the urban emissions through sewage treatment plants, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and stormwater drainage systems. However, some micropollutants tend to appear in more than one environmental medium (air, water, sediment, soil, groundwater, etc.). In this work, a multimedia fate and transport model (MFTM) is “wrapped around” a dynamic IUWS model for organic micropollutants to enable integrated environmental assessment. The combined model was tested on a hypothetical catchment using two scenarios: on the one hand a reference scenario with a combined sewerage system and on the other hand a stormwater infiltration pond scenario, as an example of a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS). A case for Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) was simulated and resulted in reduced surface water concentrations for the latter scenario. However, the model also showed that this was at the expense of increased fluxes to air, groundwater and infiltration pond soil. The latter effects are generally not included in IUWS models, whereas MTFMs usually do not consider dynamic surface water concentrations,; hence the combined model approach provides a better basis for integrated environmental assessment of micropollutants' fate in urban environments.

Keywords: chemical fate model, dynamic integrated modeling, emerging contaminants, integrated environmental assessment, IUWS, microconstituents

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