Hydrological and environmental assessment of urban growth in a sub-tropical town in India

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Roorkee, a sub-tropical urban town in India, has shown a rapid unplanned growth in the past. This paper presents the findings of a study of characteristics of urban soil, rainwater, and runoff emanating from different sources areas and the stormwater flows in the drains. Urban soil showed significant increase in the concentration of all constituents in comparison to the nearby rural soil. Soil metal pollution index suggested multi-element contamination. The traffic and transportation system emerged as the major source of metals and organics. Concentration of rainwater ions was observed to follow the pattern Ca2+ > HCO3 > Cl > NO3 > Na+ > Mg2+ > SO42− > K+. Runoff results indicated a significant enhancement in the concentration of most measured constituents over their rainfall levels. The values of runoff coefficient varied between 0.05 and 0.58, with the high values displayed by the paved areas. Multiple regression equations were developed relating event mean concentration to various storm characteristics. The total load of all measured constituents was observed to vary considerably among the study sites, the direct runoff loads being much higher than the dry weather loads.

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