• Runoff;
  • Soil interaction;
  • Copper;
  • Retention;
  • Risk assessment


The overall objective of this paper is to present an extensive set of data for corrosion-induced copper dispersion and its environmental interaction with solid surfaces in the near vicinity of buildings. Copper dispersion is discussed in terms of total copper flows, copper speciation and bioavailability at the immediate release situation, and its changes during transport from source to recipient. Presented results are based on extensive field exposures (eight years) at an urban site, laboratory investigations of the runoff process, published field data, generated predictive site-specific runoff rate models, and reactivity investigations toward various natural and manmade surfaces, such as those in soil, limestone, and concrete. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of copper-containing runoff water with different soil systems through long-term laboratory column investigations. The fate of copper is discussed in terms of copper retention, copper chemical speciation, breakthrough capacities, and future mobilization based on changes in copper concentrations in the percolate water, computer modeling using the Windermere Humic Aqueous Model, and sequential extractions. The results illustrate that, for scenarios where copper comes in extensive contact with solid surfaces, such as soil and limestone, a large fraction of released copper is retained already in the immediate vicinity of the building. In all, both the total copper concentration in runoff water and its bioavailable part undergo a significant and rapid reduction.