This study was undertaken to supply data on both priority pollutant (PP) occurrence and concentrations in combined sewer overflows (CSOs). A single rain event was studied on 13 sites within the Paris sewer network. For each sample, a total of 66 substances, including metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, organotins, volatile organic compounds, chlorobenzenes, phthalates and alkylphenols were analyzed. Of the 66 compounds analyzed in all, 40 PPs including 12 priority hazardous substances were detected in CSOs. As expected, most metals were present in all samples, reflecting their ubiquitous nature. Chlorobenzenes and most pesticides were never quantified above the limit of quantification, while the majority of the other organic pollutants, except DEHP (median concentration: 22 μg.l−1), were found to lie in the μg.l−1 range. For the particular rain event studied, the pollutant loads discharged by CSOs were evaluated and then compared to pollutant loads conveyed by the Seine River. Under the hydraulic conditions considered and according to the estimations performed, this comparison suggests that CSOs are potentially significant local source of metals, PAHs and DEHP. Depending on the substance, the ratio between the CSO and Seine River loads varied from 0.5 to 26, underscoring the important local impact of CSOs at the scale of this storm for most pollutants.
Keywords: combined sewer overflows, priority pollutants, urban area, water framework directive