Micropollutants in stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflow in the Copenhagen area, Denmark

Heidi Birch, Peter Steen Mikkelsen, J.K. Jensen, Hans-Christian Holten Lützhøft

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    Stormwater runoff contains a broad range of micropollutants. In Europe a number of these substances are regulated through the Water Framework Directive, which establishes Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) for surface waters. Knowledge about discharge of these substances through stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) is essential to ensure compliance with the EQSs. Results from a screening campaign including more than 50 substances at four stormwater discharge locations and one CSO in Copenhagen are reported here. Heavy metal concentrations were detected at levels similar to earlier findings, e.g., with copper found at concentrations up to 13 times greater than the Danish standard for surface waters. The concentration of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exceeded the EQSs by factors up to 500 times for stormwater and 2,000 times for the CSO. Glyphosate was found in all samples whilst diuron, isoproturon, terbutylazine and MCPA were found only in some of the samples. Diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) was also found at all five locations in concentrations exceeding the EQS. The results give a valuable background for designing further monitoring programmes focusing on the chemical status of surface waters in urban areas. © IWA Publishing 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)485-493
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Urban water
    • Measurement, occurrence
    • Xenobiotics
    • Water framework directive
    • Runoff


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