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Water Res. 2012 Mar 15;46(4):1337-45. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.12.050. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

A field study to evaluate runoff quality from green roofs.

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Singapore-Delft Water Alliance, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2 Engineering Drive 2, Singapore 117577, Singapore.


Green (vegetated) roofs are emerging as practical strategies to improve the environmental quality of cities. However, the impact of green roofs on the storm water quality remains a topic of concern to city planners and environmental policy makers. This study investigated whether green roofs act as a source or a sink of various metals (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni, Li and Co), inorganic anions (NO3-, NO2-, PO4(3-), SO4(2-), Cl-, F- and Br-) and cation (NH4+). A series of green roof assemblies were constructed. Four different real rain events and several artificial rain events were considered for the study. Results showed that concentrations of most of the chemical components in runoff were highest during the beginning of rain events and subsided in the subsequent rain events. Some of the important components present in the runoff include Na, K, Ca, Mg, Li, Fe, Al, Cu, NO3-, PO4(3-) and SO4(2-). However, the concentration of these chemical components in the roof runoff strongly depends on the nature of substrates used in the green roof and the volume of rain. Based on the USEPA standards for freshwater quality, we conclude that the green roof used in this study is reasonably effective except that the runoff contains significant amounts of NO3- and PO4(3-).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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