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Water Environ Res. 2002 Jan-Feb;74(1):100-8.

Pollutant export from various land uses in the upper Neuse River Basin.

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  • 1North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7637, USA.


Because of the relatively high variability of pollutant export from urban land uses, a significant number of monitoring studies, including data from many storms, are needed to adequately characterize export from urban land uses. Pollutant runoff from six small drainage areas with different land uses was monitored for at least 20 storm events over the course of more than 1 year. The land uses included single-family residential, golf course, industrial, dairy cow pasture, construction site, and wooded site. Average event mean concentrations and total annual load were computed for nitrogen forms, total phosphorus, and sediment from the land uses. Annual total nitrogen export was greatest for the construction land use during the house-building phase, followed closely by the residential and golf course land uses. Total phosphorus export was greatest for the golf course site followed by the pasture and residential land uses. Sediment export was greatest for the construction site during the rough grading phase, which averaged more than 10 times more sediment export than any of the other sites. To estimate export from a multiuse urban watershed, total nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export from the residential, golf course, and construction sites were averaged. The average total nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export from the three land uses was, respectively, 269, 302, and 256% greater than the corresponding exports from the wooded site, which was considered similar to the predevelopment land use. Additionally, analyses of rainfall samples indicated that a considerable portion of the nitrogen export from these sites likely comes from nitrogen in rainfall.

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