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Phosphate Leaching from Green Roof Substrates—Can Green Roofs Pollute Urban Water Bodies?

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Environmental Improvement, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(2), 199;
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eutrophication of Waterways: An Old Problem with Modern Consequences)
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Green roofs are an effective stormwater measure due to high water retention capacity and the ability of delaying stormwater runoff. However, low importance is still given to the pollutant leaching potential of substrates used in green roof construction. The aim of the study is to estimate the concentrations and loads of P-PO43− in runoff from extensive and intensive substrates. To achieve this goal, several commonly-used fresh substrates were analyzed for P-PO43− leaching potential in different scale experiments, from laboratory batch tests, leaching column experiments, and long-term monitoring of open air green roof containers. The results of the study confirmed that fresh green roof substrates contain phosphorus in significant amounts of 17–145 mg∙P-PO43−/kg and, thus, can contribute to eutrophication of freshwater ecosystems. High correlation between phosphate content estimated by HCl extraction and cumulative load in leachate tests suggests that the batch HCl extraction test can be recommended for the comparison and selection of substrates with low potential P leaching. Volume-weighted mean concentrations and UALs of P-PO43− leaching from fresh substrates were higher in cases of intensive substrates, but there was no clear relationship between substrate type and the observed P-PO43− concentration range. To avoid increasing eutrophication of urban receivers the implementation of P reduction measures is strongly recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphorus; green roofs; substrates; eutrophication; urban water bodies phosphorus; green roofs; substrates; eutrophication; urban water bodies

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Karczmarczyk, A.; Bus, A.; Baryła, A. Phosphate Leaching from Green Roof Substrates—Can Green Roofs Pollute Urban Water Bodies? Water 2018, 10, 199.

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