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J Environ Manage. 2017 Mar 15;189:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.12.027. Epub 2016 Dec 18.

Urban rainwater runoff quantity and quality - A potential endogenous resource in cities?

Author information

1
Sostenipra (ICTA-IRTA-Inèdit; 2014 SGR 1412) Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA; Unidad de excelencia «María de Maeztu» (MDM-2015-0552)), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Edifici ICTA-ICP, Carrer de les Columnes, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Sostenipra (ICTA-IRTA-Inèdit; 2014 SGR 1412) Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA; Unidad de excelencia «María de Maeztu» (MDM-2015-0552)), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Edifici ICTA-ICP, Carrer de les Columnes, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: anna.petit@uab.cat.
3
Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, AA 097, Pereira, Colombia.
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-BarcelonaTech), Jordi Girona 1-3, Building D2, 08034, Barcelona, Spain; Institute of Sustainability (IS.UPC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-BarcelonaTech), Jordi Girona 31, 08034, Barcelona, Spain.
5
Sostenipra (ICTA-IRTA-Inèdit; 2014 SGR 1412) Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA; Unidad de excelencia «María de Maeztu» (MDM-2015-0552)), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Edifici ICTA-ICP, Carrer de les Columnes, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Xarxa de Referència en Biotecnologia (XRB), School of Engineering (ETSE), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Campus of the UAB, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), 08193, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

Rainwater harvesting might help to achieve self-sufficiency, but it must comply with health standards. We studied the runoff quantity and quality harvested from seven urban surfaces in a university campus in Barcelona according to their use (pedestrian or motorized mobility) and materials (concrete, asphalt and slabs). An experimental rainwater harvesting system was used to collect the runoff resulting from a set of rainfall events. We estimated the runoff coefficient and initial abstraction of each surface and analyzed the physicochemical and microbiological properties, and hydrocarbon and metal content of the samples. Rainfall intensity, surface material and state of conservation were essential parameters. Because of low rainfall intensity and surface degradation, the runoff coefficient was variable, with a minimum of 0.41. Concrete had the best quality, whereas weathering and particulate matter deposition led to worse quality in asphalt areas. Physicochemical runoff quality was outstanding when compared to superficial and underground water. Microorganisms were identified in the samples (>1 CFU/100 mL) and treatment is required to meet human consumption standards. Motorized traffic mostly affects the presence of metals such as zinc (31.7 μg/L). In the future, sustainable mobility patterns might result in improved rainwater quality standards.

KEYWORDS:

Rainfall events; Rainwater harvesting; Runoff coefficient; Urban artificial areas; Urban mobility

PMID:
28002777
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.12.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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