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Characterizing heavy metal build-up on urban road surfaces: Implication for stormwater reuse

Liu, An, Liu, Liang, Li, Dunzhu, Guan, Yuntao
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.515-516 pp. 20-29
decision making, heavy metals, pollutants, roads, stormwater, surface roughness, toxicity, traffic, China
Stormwater reuse is increasingly popular in the worldwide. In terms of urban road stormwater, it commonly contains toxic pollutants such as heavy metals, which could undermine the reuse safety. The research study investigated heavy metal build-up characteristics on urban roads in a typical megacity of South China. The research outcomes show the high variability in heavy metal build-up loads among different urban road sites. The degree of traffic congestion and road surface roughness was found to exert a more significant influence on heavy metal build-up rather than traffic volume. Due to relatively higher heavy metal loads, stormwater from roads with more congested traffic conditions or rougher surfaces might be suitable for low-water-quality required activities while the stormwater from by-pass road sections could be appropriate for relatively high-water-quality required purposes since the stormwater could be relatively less polluted. Based on the research outcomes, a decision-making process for heavy metals based urban road stormwater reuse was proposed. The new finding highlights the importance to undertaking a “fit-for-purpose” road stormwater reuse strategy. Additionally, the research results can also contribute to enhancing stormwater reuse safety.