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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Combined Sewer Systems on the Quality of Urban Streams: Frequency and Duration of Elevated Micropollutant Concentrations

1
Institute of Urban Water Management, University of Kaiserslautern, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 14, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
2
Kompetenzzentrum Spurenstoffe Baden-Württemberg, University of Stuttgart, Bandtäle 2, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030850
Received: 4 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
Water quality in urban streams is highly influenced by emissions from WWTP and from sewer systems particularly by overflows from combined systems. During storm events, this causes random fluctuations in discharge and pollutant concentrations over a wide range. The aim of this study is an appraisal of the environmental impact of micropollutant loads emitted from combined sewer systems. For this purpose, high-resolution time series of river concentrations were generated by combining a detailed calibrated model of a sewer system with measured discharge of a small natural river to a virtual urban catchment. This river base flow represents the remains of the natural hydrological system in the urban catchment. River concentrations downstream of the outlets are simulated based on mixing ratios of base flow, WWTP effluent, and CSO discharge. The results show that the standard method of time proportional sampling of rivers does not capture the risk of critical stress on aquatic organisms. The ratio between average and peak concentrations and the duration of elevated concentrations strongly depends on the source and the properties of the particular substance. The design of sampling campaigns and evaluation of data should consider these characteristics and account for their effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: modeling; CSO; urban drainage; sewer system; trace pollutants; urban runoff; concentration duration frequency curve modeling; CSO; urban drainage; sewer system; trace pollutants; urban runoff; concentration duration frequency curve
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dittmer, U.; Bachmann-Machnik, A.; Launay, M.A. Impact of Combined Sewer Systems on the Quality of Urban Streams: Frequency and Duration of Elevated Micropollutant Concentrations. Water 2020, 12, 850.

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