The performances of vegetative treatment systems for highway runoff during dry and wet conditions.
The performances of two different highway runoff treatment systems, a horizontal subsurface flow-constructed wetland and a vegetated balancing pond, are described. Both systems have been assessed by collecting inlet and outlet grab samples during wet and dry weather conditions, and automatically controlled storm event samples have been obtained for the constructed wetland. Removal efficiencies are discussed for BOD (grab samples only), suspended solids, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, nitrate and sulphate, and explanations are offered for the trends observed under different weather conditions. The large variabilities in the removal efficiencies derived for both treatment systems, based on the analyses of grab samples, make accurate comparisons of the performances difficult and also raise concerns about using this type of sampling approach for this purpose. Treatment systems are required to function satisfactorily during the increased inlet loadings experienced during storm events, and this is shown to be the case for the constructed wetland for the majority of the monitored pollutants. The large removal efficiency ranges for five separate storm events, exhibited by Cu and Pb, are discussed and compared to the other monitored pollutants which showed positive median wet weather removal efficiencies of between 43% and 85%. Despite the existence of performance fluctuations, the generally low monitored inlet concentrations in the highway runoff indicated that the pond discharges did not threaten the environmental quality of the receiving waters.
Revitt, DM; Shutes, RB; Jones, RH; Forshaw, M; Winter, B
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