The use of simulated rainfall to study the discharge process and the influence factors of urban surface runoff pollution loads

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

An understanding of the characteristics of pollutants on impervious surfaces is essential to estimate pollution loads and to design methods to minimize the impacts of pollutants on the environment. In this study, simulated rainfall equipment was constructed to investigate the pollutant discharge process and the influence factors of urban surface runoff (USR). The results indicated that concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) appeared to be higher in the early period and then decreased gradually with rainfall duration until finally stabilized. The capacity and particle size of surface dust, rainfall intensity and urban surface slopes affected runoff pollution loads to a variable extent. The loads of TP, TN and COD showed a positive relationship with the surface dust capacity, whereas the maximum TSS load appeared when the surface dust was 0.0317 g·cm−2. Smaller particle sizes (<0.125 mm) of surface dust generated high TN, TP and COD loads. Increases in rainfall intensity and surface slope enhanced the pollution carrying capacity of runoff, leading to higher pollution loads. Knowledge of the influence factors could assist in the management of USR pollution loads.

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