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Management of Urban Road Runoff Containing PAHs: Probabilistic Modeling and Its Application in Beijing, China1

Authors

  • Wei Zhang,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Research Assistant (Zhang and Yue), Professor (Wang), MOE Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • Arturo A. Keller,

    1. Professor (Keller), Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, California
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  • Dapan Yue,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Research Assistant (Zhang and Yue), Professor (Wang), MOE Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • Xuejun Wang

    1. Respectively, Graduate Research Assistant (Zhang and Yue), Professor (Wang), MOE Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • 1

    Paper No. JAWRA-08-0138-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Wang: xjwang@urban.pku.edu.cn).

Abstract

Abstract:  Pollutant loading from storm runoff is considered to be an important component of nonpoint source pollution in urban areas. In developing countries, because of the accelerated urbanization and motorization, storm runoff pollution has become a challenge for improving aquatic environmental quality. An effective storm runoff management plan needs to be developed, and questions concerning how much and which proportion of a storm should be treated need to be answered. In this study, a model is developed to determine the fraction of storm runoff that needs to be treated to meet the discharge standard within a given probability. The model considers that the pollutants can be mobilized during the early stage of a storm. The model is applied to a field study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in road runoff in Beijing, China. In this case, the probability that the PAH load will be mobilized with suspended sediments by the earlier portion of the flush is 73%. Given the high PAH loading in the study area and the referenced discharge standard, the probability that the entire runoff should be captured and treated is 94%. Thus, urban planners need to consider treatment systems for the majority of the storms in this area, whether the PAH load is in the first flush or not. This methodology can be applied to other regions where PAH loads may result in different management outcomes.

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