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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2012, Volume 6, Issue 5 doi: 10.1007/s11783-012-0444-5

Temporal variation of heavy metal pollution in urban stormwater runoff

State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Available online:2012-10-01

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Stormwater runoff from three types of urban surfaces, a parking lot, a street, and a building roof, was monitored during four rainfall events that occurred in the one-year period from June 2009 to June 2010. The event mean concentrations (EMC) of dissolved copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe) exceeded China’s National Water Quality Standards for Surface Water. The degree of heavy metal contamination was related to the type of underlying surfaces. Additionally, the concentration of dissolved heavy metals peaked shortly after the runoff began and then declined sharply as a result of adequate flushing. First flush effects of varying degrees were also observed during all of the monitored rainfall events based on the first flush ratio ( ). Redundancy analysis revealed that four environmental variables (rainfall depth, intensity, antecedent dry weather period and type of underlying surface) had significant effects on the strengths of the first flush effects, accounting for 72.9% of the variation in the . Dissolved metals presented varying first flush effects on different underlying surfaces that occurred in the following relative order: parking lot>roof>road for low intensity and high runoff volume rainfall events; parking lot>road>roof for high intensity and low runoff volume events. The relative strength of the first flush for dissolved heavy metals was Fe, Mn>Cu, Zn>Pb.

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