Probabilistic modeling of detention basins for highway stormwater runoff pollutant removal efficiency

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Urban Water Journal, Volume 7, Issue 6, 2010


The effects of various design configurations and the operation of detention basins for pollutant removal efficiency is evaluated using a Monte-Carlo simulation approach. A physically based numerical model representing the build-up and wash-off of pollutants from the highway surface has been used to predict storm events pollutographs for dissolved Cu and Zn. The probability of discharging dissolved Cu and Zn from detention basins were assessed using randomly-generated rainfall-runoff events and build-up pollutant concentrations. The simulations were performed by comparing the results of a one-compartment detention basin with a two-compartment design. The simulation results revealed that dividing the detention basin into two compartments and using the first compartment for first flush treatment can substantially reduce the frequency of discharging toxic metals such as Cu and Zn into the receiving waters. With the first flush treatment method, the size of the detention basin can be reduced to half of the conventional design.

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