Understanding the factors influencing the removal of heavy metals in urban stormwater runoff

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this research, an infiltration trench equipped with an extensive pretreatment and filter bed consisting of woodchip, sand and gravel was utilized as a low impact development technique to manage stormwater runoff from a highly impervious road with particular emphasis on heavy metal removal. Findings revealed that the major factors influencing the removal of heavy metals were the concentration of the particulate matters and heavy metals in runoff, runoff volume and flow rates. The reduction of heavy metals was enhanced by sedimentation of particulates through pretreatment. Fine particles (<2 mm) had the most significant amount of heavy metals, thus, enhanced adsorption and filtration using various filter media were important design considerations. Sediment was most highly attached on the surface area of woodchip than to other filter media like sand, gravel and geotextile. It is suggested that maintenance must be performed after the end of the winter season wherein high sediment rate was observed to maintain the efficiency of the treatment system.

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