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Sci Total Environ. 2004 Dec 1;334-335:231-8.

Prioritising and planning of urban stormwater treatment in the Alna watercourse in Oslo.

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Interconsult ASA, Altaveien 96, P.O. Box 98, 9501 Alta, Norway.


The Oslo municipal Water and Sewage Works (VAV) intends to improve the water quality in the Alna watercourse, in particular, with regards to the biological diversity. In order to reduce existing discharges of polluted urban stormwater, a study has been carried out to rank subcatchment areas in descending order of magnitude and to assess possible measures. An overall ranking methodology was developed in order to identify and select the most suitable subcatchment areas for further assessment studies (74 subcatchment/drainage areas). The municipality's comprehensive geographical information system (GIS) was applied as a base for the ranking. A weighted ranking based on three selected parameters was chosen from several major influencing factors, namely total yearly discharge (kg pollution/year), specific pollution discharge (kg/area/year) and existing stormwater system (pipe lengths/area). Results show that the highest 15 ranked catchment areas accounted for 70% of the total calculated pollution load of heavy metals. The highest ranked areas are strongly influenced by three major highways. Based on the results from similar field studies, it would be possible to remove 75-85% of total solids and about 50-80% of heavy metals using wet detention ponds as Best Available Technology (BAT). Based on the final ranking, two subcatchment areas were selected for further practical assessment of possible measures. VAV plans to use wet detention ponds, in combination with other measures when relevant, to treat the urban runoff. Using calculated loading and aerial photographs (all done in the same GIS environment), a preliminary sketch design and location of ponds were performed. The resulting GIS methodology for urban stormwater management will be used as input to a holistic and long-term planning process for the management of the watercourse, taking into account future urban development and other pollution sources.

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