A preliminary model for predicting heavy metal contaminant loading from an urban catchment

Y. Yuan, K. Hall, Carolyn Oldham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The toxicity of heavy metals to biota in urban catchments has been regarded as a very important non-point source pollution issue. Numerous studies on heavy metal pollution in urban receiving waters have found that metal transport by surface runoff is closely correlated to the partitioning of the metal forms between dissolved and particulate phases, where sediment plays an important role in the transport process. Sediment cycling on urban streets, metal binding form, and rainfall character in the catchment area are considered to be the key factors for metal transport. A preliminary model is developed based on these considerations. Starting from classical build-up and wash-off processes for the suspended sediment (SS) on the urban impervious surface, the model links the transport of suspended sediment to the transport of metal species. Monitoring data from a small highway catchment were used in the model development. A total of 47 rain events over I year were monitored intensively at short time intervals (5-10 min) for hydrological data, rainfall intensity, and stormwater quality. In developing the model, lead was used for the metal load prediction, as it has been a common fuel additive for urban transportation. Agreement between model results and monitoring data indicates that the model can be used in predicting metal load from impervious urban areas, such as streets and roadways, on a long-term basis. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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