Stormwater quality characteristics in (Dutch) urban areas and performance of settlement basins

Floris Boogaard, Frans van de Ven, Jeroen G. Langeveld, Nick van de Giesen

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    Stormwaters, flowing into storm sewers, are known to significantly increase the annual pollutant loads entering urban receiving waters and this results in significant degradation of the receiving water quality. Knowledge of the characteristics of stormwater pollution enables urban planners to incorporate the most appropriate stormwater management strategies to mitigate the effects of stormwater pollution on downstream receiving waters. This requires detailed information on stormwater quality, such as pollutant types, sediment particle size distributions, and how soluble pollutants and heavy metals attach themselves to sediment particles. This study monitored stormwater pollution levels at over 150 locations throughout the Netherlands. The monitoring has been ongoing for nearly 15 years and a total of 7,652 individual events have been monitored to date. This makes the database the largest stormwater quality database in Europe. The study compared the results to those presented in contemporary international stormwater quality research literature. The study found that the pollution levels at many of the Dutch test sites did not meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Dutch Water Quality Standards. Results of the study are presented and recommendations are made on how to improve water quality with the implementation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) devices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-122
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2014


    • stormwater quality
    • stormwater characteristics
    • monitoring
    • stormwater treatment


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