Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 12, pp 9763–9775 | Cite as

The temporal changes in road stormwater runoff quality and the implications to first flush control in Chongqing, China

  • Qianqian Zhang
  • Xiaoke Wang
  • Peiqiang Hou
  • Wuxing Wan
  • Yufen Ren
  • Zhiyun Ouyang
  • Le Yang


This study investigates the quality of stormwater runoff from a driveway in the southwest mountainous urban area of Chongqing, China, from 2010 to 2011. The results showed that the mean concentrations of chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) were 4.1, 2.4, and 2.2 times the grade V levels of the national surface water standard of China. The pollutant concentration peak preceded or synchronized with the rainfall intensity peak and occurred 10 min after the runoff started. The significant high pollutant concentration in the initial stage of the rainfall suggested that first flush control is necessary, especially for the most polluted constitutes, such as total suspended solids, COD, and TN. Three potential pollution sources were identified: the atmospheric dry and wet deposition (TN, NO3 -N, NH4 +-N, and DCu), the road sediment and materials (total suspended solids, COD, and TP), and the vehicle emissions (DPb and DZn). Therefore, this study indicates that reductions in road sediments and material pollution and dry and wet deposition should be the priority factors for pollution control of road stormwater runoff in mountainous urban areas.


Road runoff Water quality Event mean concentration (EMC) First flush Pollution sources 



The study has been funded by the National Water Pollution Control and Management Technology Major Projects of China (no. 2012ZX07307) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41030744 and no. 40901265).


  1. Ball, J. E., Jenks, R., & Aubourg, D. (1998). An assessment of the availability of pollutant constituents on road surfaces. The Science of the Total Environment, 209(2–3), 243–254.Google Scholar
  2. Chaplot, V., & Le Bissonnais, Y. (2000). Field measurements of interrill erosion under different slopes and plots sizes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 25, 145–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crabtree, B., Dempsey, P., Johnson, I., & Whitehead, M. (2008). The development of a risk-based approach to managing the ecological impact of pollutants in highway runoff. Water Science and Technology, 57(10), 1595–1600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crabtree, B., Moy, F., Whitehead, M., & Roe, A. (2006). Monitoring pollutants in highway runoff. Water and Environment Journal, 20(4), 287–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davis, A. P., Shokouhian, M., & Ni, S. (2001). Loading estimates of lead, copper, cadmium and zinc in urban runoff from specific sources. Chemosphere, 44(5), 997–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davis, B. S., & Birch, G. F. (2006). Catchment-wide assessment of the cost-effectiveness of stormwater remediation measures in urban areas. Environmental Science and Policy, 12, 84–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deletic, A. (1998). The first flush load of urban surface runoff. Water Research, 32(8), 2462–2470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drapper, D., Tomlinson, R., & Williams, P. (2000). Pollutant concentrations in road runoff: Southeast Queensland case study. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 126(4), 313–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fang, H. Y., Cai, Q. G., Chen, H., & Li, Q. Y. (2008). Effect of rainfall regime and slope on runoff in a gullied loess region on the Loess Plateau in China. Environmental Management, 42, 402–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Farm, C. (2002). Metal sorption to natural filter substrates for storm water treatment—column studies. The Science of the Total Environment, 298(1–3), 17–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gan, H. Y., Zhuo, M. N., Li, D. Q., & Zhou, Y. Z. (2008). Quality characterization and impact assessment of highway runoff in urban and rural area of Guangzhou, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 140(1–3), 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gnecco, I., Berretta, C., Lanza, L. G., & Barbera, L. (2005). Storm water pollution in the urban environment of Genoa, Italy. Atmospheric Research, 77(1–4), 60–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Göbel, P., Dierkes, C., & Coldewey, W. G. (2007). Stormwater runoff concentration matrix for urban areas. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 91(1–2), 26–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gupta, K., & Saul, A. J. (1996). Specific relationships for the first flush load in combined sewer flows. Water Research, 30(5), 1244–1252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Han, Y., Lau, S. L., Kayhanian, M., & Stenstrom, M. K. (2006). Characteristics of highway stormwater runoff. Water Environment Research, 78(12), 2377–2388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Helena, B., Pardo, R., Vega, M., Barrado, E., Fernandez, J. M., & Fernandez, L. (2000). Temporal evolution of groundwater composition in an alluvial aquifer (Pisuerga River, Spain) by principal component analysis. Water Research, 34(3), 807–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang, F., Wang, X. Q., Lou, L. P., Zhou, Z. Q., & Wu, J. P. (2010). Spatial variation and source apportionment of water pollution in Qiantang River (China) using statistical techniques. Water Research, 44(5), 1562–1572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang, J., Du, P., Ao, C., Ho, M., Lei, M., Zhao, D., et al. (2007). Multivariate analysis for stormwater quality characteristics identification from different urban surface types in Macau. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 79(6), 650–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kayhanian, M., Suverkropp, C., Ruby, A., & Tsay, K. (2007). Characterization and prediction of highway runoff constituent event mean concentration. Journal of Environmental Management, 85(2), 279–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kim, L. H., Kayhanian, M., Zoh, K. D., & Stenstrom, M. K. (2005). Modeling of highway stormwater runoff. The Science of the Total Environment, 293(1–3), 163–175.Google Scholar
  21. Lau, S.L., Kayhanian, M., & Stenstorm, M.K. (2005). PAHs and organic pollutants in highway runoff. In: IAW-ASPIRE Conference, Singapore.Google Scholar
  22. Lee, J. H., & Bang, K. W. (2000). Characterization of urban stormwater runoff. Water Research, 34(6), 1773–1781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lee, J. Y., Kim, H. J., Kim, Y. J., & Han, M. Y. (2011). Characteristics of the event mean concentration (EMC) from rainfall runoff on an urban highway. Environmental Pollution, 159(4), 884–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Legret, M., & Pagotto, C. (1999). Evaluation of pollutant loadings in the runoff waters from a major rural highway. The Science of the Total Environment, 235(1–3), 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li, L. Q., Yin, C. Q., He, Q. C., & Kong, L. L. (2007). First flush of storm runoff pollution from an urban catchment in China. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 19(3), 295–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu, C., Lin, K., & Kuo, Y. (2003). Application of factor analysis in the assessment of groundwater quality in a blackfoot disease area in Taiwan. The Science of the Total Environment, 313(1–3), 77–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Luo, Z. X., Wang, T., Gao, M. R., Tang, J. L., & Zhu, B. (2012). Stormwater runoff pollution in a rural township in the hilly area of the Central Sichuan Basin, China. Journal of Mountain Science, 9(1), 16–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ma, J.S., Kham, S., Li, Y., Kim, L.H., Ha, s., & Lau, S.L. (2004). First flush phenomena for highways: how it can be meaningfully defined. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Portland, Oregon, USA.Google Scholar
  29. Mangani, G., Berloni, A., Bellucci, F., Tatano, F., & Maione, M. (2005). Evaluation of the pollutant content in road runoff first flush waters. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 160(1–4), 213–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mosley, L. M., & Peake, B. M. (2001). Partitioning of metals (Fe, Pb, Cu, Zn) in urban runoff from the Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 35(3), 615–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ngabe, B., Midleman, T. F., & Scott, G. I. (2000). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in storm water runoff from urban and coastal South Carolina. The Science of the Total Environment, 255(1–3), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Opher, T., & Friedler, E. (2010). Factors affecting highway runoff quality. Urban Water Journal, 7(3), 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pekey, H., Karakas, D., & Bakoglu, M. (2004). Source apportionment of trace metals in surface waters of a polluted stream using multivariate statistical analyses. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 49(9–10), 809–818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sansalone, J. J., & Buchberger, S. G. (1997). Partitioning and first flush of metals in urban roadway storm water. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 123, 134–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shinya, M., Tsuchinaga, T., Kitano, M., Yamada, Y., & Ishikawa, M. (2000). Characterization of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban highway runoff. Water Science and Technology, 42(7–8), 201–208.Google Scholar
  36. State Environment Protection Bureau of China. (2002a). Methods of monitoring and analysis for water and wastewater (4th ed.). Beijing: China Environmental Science Press.Google Scholar
  37. State Environment Protection Bureau of China. (2002b). Environmental quality standards for surface water (GB3838-2002), Beijing.Google Scholar
  38. Taebi, A., & Droste, R. L. (2004). First flush pollution load of urban stormwater runoff. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 3(4), 301–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. US EPA. (1998). National Water Quality Inventory: 1996. Report to Congress. Washington (DC): EPA Office of Water. Report no. EPA 841-F-97-003. Accessed 17 June 2013.
  40. Vaze, J., & Chiew, F. H. S. (2002). Experimental study of pollutant accumulation on an urban road surface. Urban Water, 4, 379–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wu, J. S., Allan, C. J., Saunders, W. L., & Evett, J. B. (1998). Characterization and pollutant loading estimation for highway runoff. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 124(7), 584–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhang, M. L., Chen, H., Wang, J. Z., & Pan, G. (2010). Rainwater utilization and storm pollution control based on urban runoff characterization. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 22(1), 40–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhang, Q. Q., Wang, X. K., Hao, L. L., Hou, P. Q., & Ouyang, Z. Y. (2012). Characteristics of runoff from different material roofs in Chongqing urban area. Research of Environmental Sciences, 25(5), 579–586.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qianqian Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiaoke Wang
    • 1
  • Peiqiang Hou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wuxing Wan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yufen Ren
    • 1
  • Zhiyun Ouyang
    • 1
  • Le Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Asia-Pacific Institute of Construction Scitech InformationBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Life ScienceHebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuangChina

Personalised recommendations