Water2014, 6(4), 1069-1099; doi:10.3390/w6041069 (doi registration under processing) - published online 24 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The continued development of urban areas in recent decades has caused multiple issues affecting the sustainability of urban drainage systems. The increase of impervious surface areas in urban regions alters watershed hydrology and water quality. Typical impacts to downstream hydrologic regimes include higher peak flows and runoff volumes, shorter lag times, and reduced infiltration and base flow. Urban runoff increases the transport of pollutants and nutrients and thus degrades water bodies downstream from urban areas. One of the most frequently used practices to mitigate these impacts is bioretention. Despite its widespread use, research on bioretention systems remains active, particularly in terms of mix design and nitrogen treatment. Recent research focusing on bioretention is reviewed herein. The use of mesocosms provides the ability to isolate particular treatment processes and replicate variability. Computational models have been adapted and applied to simulate bioretention, offering potential improvements to their operation, maintenance, and design. Maintenance practices are important for sustained operation and have also been reviewed. Predicting maintenance is essential to assessing lifecycle costs. Within these research areas, gaps are explored, and recommendations made for future work.
Water2014, 6(4), 1043-1068; doi:10.3390/w6041043 (doi registration under processing) - published online 24 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Gallikos River basin is located in the northern part of Greece, and the coastal section is part of a deltaic system. The basin has been influenced by anthropogenic activities during the last decades, leading to continuous water resource degradation. The holistic approach of the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework was applied in order to investigate the main causes and origins of pressures and to optimize the measures for sustainable management of water resources. The major driving forces that affect the Gallikos River basin are urbanization, intensive agriculture, industry and the regional development strategy. The main pressures on water resources are the overexploitation of aquifers, water quality degradation, and decrease of river discharge. Recommended responses were based on the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC, and sum up to rationalization of water resources, land use management and appropriate utilization of waste, especially so effluent. The application of the DPSIR analysis in this paper links the socioeconomic drivers to the water resource pressures, the responses based on the WFD and the national legislation and is as a useful tool for land-use planning and decision making in the area of water protection.
Water2014, 6(4), 1028-1042; doi:10.3390/w6041028 (doi registration under processing) - published online 24 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Conventional onsite wastewater treatment system design relies on a septic tank and soil treatment unit (STU) for treatment of wastewater and integration of the final effluent into the environment. Organic water contaminants (OWCs), chemicals found in pharmaceutical drugs, detergents, surfactants, and other personal care and cleaning products, have been observed in septic tank effluent and the environment. Sorption of OWC mass to soil is a key mechanism in the removal and retardation of many of these chemicals in effluent as it travels through an STU. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the fraction of organic carbon of soil and the equilibrium sorption partitioning coefficient of a selected group of relevant and diverse OWCs. A secondary goal is to evaluate current methods of modeling the sorption of selected OWCs in soil. Five point Freundlich isotherms were constructed from equilibrium sorption batch tests for target OWCs with four different soils. For soils with organic carbon fraction between 0.021 and 0.054, Kdvalues were calculated between 60 and 185 for 4-nonylphenol, 75 to 260 for triclosan, 115 to 270 for bisphenol-A, 3 to 255 for 17β-estradiol, 40 to 55 for 17α-ethynylestradiol, and 28 to 70 for estrone. An empirically derived, direct relationship between foc and Kd may be a useful approach to estimating sorption for a soil based on organic carbon content.
Water2014, 6(4), 1013-1027; doi:10.3390/w6041013 - published online 22 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Gas exchange across the air-water interface is a critical process that maintains adequate dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water column to support life. Oxygen reaeration rates can be accurately measured using deliberate gas tracers, like sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or xenon (Xe). Two continuous release experiments were conducted in different creeks in the Sierra Nevada of California: Sagehen Creek in September, 2009, using SF6 and Martis Creek in August, 2012, using both SF6 and Xe. Measuring gas loss along the creek, which was approximated with the one-dimensional advection-dispersion equation, allows for the estimation of the SF6 or Xe reaeration coefficient (KSF6,KXe), which is converted to DO reaeration (KDOor K2) using Schmidt numbers. Mean KSF6 for upper and lower Sagehen and Martis Creeks were, respectively, 34 day−1, 37 day−1 and 33 day−1, with corresponding KDOs of 61 day−1, 66 day−1 and 47 day−1. In Martis Creek, KXe was slightly higher (21%) than KSF6, but the calculated KDO from SF6 agreed with the calculated KDO from Xe within about 15%; this difference may be due to bubble-enhanced gas transfer. Established empirical equations of KDO using stream characteristics did a poor job predicting KDO for both creeks.
Water2014, 6(4), 993-1012; doi:10.3390/w6040993 - published online 22 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rainfall interception loss of forest is an important component of water balance in a forested ecosystem. The Gash analytical model has been widely used to estimate the forest interception loss at field scale. In this study, we proposed a simple model to estimate rainfall interception loss of heterogeneous forest at regional scale with several reasonable assumptions using remote sensing observations. The model is a modified Gash analytical model using easily measured parameters of forest structure from satellite data and extends the original Gash model from point-scale to the regional scale. Preliminary results, using remote sensing data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products, field measured rainfall data, and meteorological data of the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) over a picea crassifolia forest in the upper reaches of the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China, showed reasonable accuracy in estimating rainfall interception loss at both the Dayekou experimental site (R2 = 0.91, RMSE = 0.34 mm∙d −1) and the Pailugou experimental site (R2 = 0.82, RMSE = 0.6 mm∙d −1), compared with ground measurements based on per unit area of forest. The interception loss map of the study area was shown to be strongly heterogeneous. The modified model has robust physics and is insensitive to the input parameters, according to the sensitivity analysis using numerical simulations. The modified model appears to be stable and easy to be applied for operational estimation of interception loss over large areas.
Water2014, 6(4), 976-992; doi:10.3390/w6040976 - published online 22 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Climate change and urbanization are converging to challenge city drainage infrastructure due to their adverse impacts on precipitation extremes and the environment of urban areas. Sustainable drainage systems have gained growing public interest in recent years, as a result of its positive effects on water quality and quantity issues and additional recreational amenities perceived in the urban landscape. This paper reviews recent progress in sustainable drainage development based on literature across different disciplinary fields. After presenting the key elements and criteria of sustainable drainage design, various devices and examples of sustainable drainage systems are introduced. The state-of-the-art model approaches and decision-aid tools for assessing the sustainable alternatives are discussed and compared. The paper further explores some limitations and difficulties in the application of the innovative solutions and suggests an integrated and trans-disciplinary approach for sustainable drainage design.