Urban Runoff Pollution and Water Quality Planning

by William Whipple, Jr., (F.ASCE), Research Prof.; Water Resources Research Inst. Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 101-115

Document Type: Journal Paper


Areawide Water Quality Planning under Section 208 of PL 92-500 is supposed to integrate two approaches, first, effluent treatment requirements, and, second, the achieving of stated water quality criteria with control of nonpoint as well as of point sources of pollution. Urban runoff pollution is considered one of the nonpoint sources, although it flows largely through storm and combined sewers. Section 208 planning has been handicapped for lack of adequate data and technology applicable to the highly variable storm flows that characterize urban runoff. Urban runoff pollution includes sediment, BOD, nutrients, heavy metals, and petroleum, most of which occur in particulate form. It is harmful to fish life, but the agents mainly responsible are usually not identified. Planning of remedial measures requires consideration of both steady state and variable flow modeling. Detention storage for combined purposes of flood control and water quality appears to have some possibilities.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Water quality | Nonpoint pollution | Quality control | Water storage | Municipal water | Urban areas | Runoff

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