Pollution levels of stormwater discharges and resulting environmental impacts

Sarah Brudler*, Martin Rygaard, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Michael Zwicky Hauschild, Christian Ammitsøe, Luca Vezzaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Stormwater carries pollutants that potentially cause negative environmental impacts to receiving water bodies, which can be quantified using life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We compiled a list of 20 metals, almost 300 organic compounds, and nutrients potentially present in stormwater, and measured concentrations reported in literature. We calculated mean pollutant concentrations, which we then translated to generic impacts per litre of stormwater discharged, using existing LCIA characterisation factors. Freshwater and marine ecotoxicity impacts were found to be within the same order of magnitude (0.72, and 0.82 CTUe/l respectively), while eutrophication impacts were 3.2E-07 kgP-eq/l for freshwater and 2.0E-06 kgN-eq/l for marine waters. Stormwater discharges potentially have a strong contribution to ecotoxicity impacts compared to other human activities, such as human water consumption and agriculture. Conversely, contribution to aquatic eutrophication impacts was modest. Metals were identified as the main contributor to ecotoxicity impacts, causing >97% of the total impacts. This is in line with conclusions from a legal screening, where metals showed to be problematic when comparing measured concentrations against existing environmental quality standards.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume663
Pages (from-to)754-763
ISSN0048-9697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Ecotoxicity
  • EQS
  • Eutrophication
  • Life cycle impact assessment
  • Metals
  • Organics

Cite this

@article{0914ed9daad446ecac451de9336f863c,
title = "Pollution levels of stormwater discharges and resulting environmental impacts",
abstract = "Stormwater carries pollutants that potentially cause negative environmental impacts to receiving water bodies, which can be quantified using life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We compiled a list of 20 metals, almost 300 organic compounds, and nutrients potentially present in stormwater, and measured concentrations reported in literature. We calculated mean pollutant concentrations, which we then translated to generic impacts per litre of stormwater discharged, using existing LCIA characterisation factors. Freshwater and marine ecotoxicity impacts were found to be within the same order of magnitude (0.72, and 0.82 CTUe/l respectively), while eutrophication impacts were 3.2E-07 kgP-eq/l for freshwater and 2.0E-06 kgN-eq/l for marine waters. Stormwater discharges potentially have a strong contribution to ecotoxicity impacts compared to other human activities, such as human water consumption and agriculture. Conversely, contribution to aquatic eutrophication impacts was modest. Metals were identified as the main contributor to ecotoxicity impacts, causing >97{\%} of the total impacts. This is in line with conclusions from a legal screening, where metals showed to be problematic when comparing measured concentrations against existing environmental quality standards.",
keywords = "Ecotoxicity, EQS, Eutrophication, Life cycle impact assessment, Metals, Organics",
author = "Sarah Brudler and Martin Rygaard and Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen and Hauschild, {Michael Zwicky} and Christian Ammits{\o}e and Luca Vezzaro",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.388",
language = "English",
volume = "663",
pages = "754--763",
journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Pollution levels of stormwater discharges and resulting environmental impacts. / Brudler, Sarah; Rygaard, Martin; Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Karsten; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky; Ammitsøe, Christian; Vezzaro, Luca.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 663, 2019, p. 754-763.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pollution levels of stormwater discharges and resulting environmental impacts

AU - Brudler, Sarah

AU - Rygaard, Martin

AU - Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Karsten

AU - Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

AU - Ammitsøe, Christian

AU - Vezzaro, Luca

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Stormwater carries pollutants that potentially cause negative environmental impacts to receiving water bodies, which can be quantified using life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We compiled a list of 20 metals, almost 300 organic compounds, and nutrients potentially present in stormwater, and measured concentrations reported in literature. We calculated mean pollutant concentrations, which we then translated to generic impacts per litre of stormwater discharged, using existing LCIA characterisation factors. Freshwater and marine ecotoxicity impacts were found to be within the same order of magnitude (0.72, and 0.82 CTUe/l respectively), while eutrophication impacts were 3.2E-07 kgP-eq/l for freshwater and 2.0E-06 kgN-eq/l for marine waters. Stormwater discharges potentially have a strong contribution to ecotoxicity impacts compared to other human activities, such as human water consumption and agriculture. Conversely, contribution to aquatic eutrophication impacts was modest. Metals were identified as the main contributor to ecotoxicity impacts, causing >97% of the total impacts. This is in line with conclusions from a legal screening, where metals showed to be problematic when comparing measured concentrations against existing environmental quality standards.

AB - Stormwater carries pollutants that potentially cause negative environmental impacts to receiving water bodies, which can be quantified using life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We compiled a list of 20 metals, almost 300 organic compounds, and nutrients potentially present in stormwater, and measured concentrations reported in literature. We calculated mean pollutant concentrations, which we then translated to generic impacts per litre of stormwater discharged, using existing LCIA characterisation factors. Freshwater and marine ecotoxicity impacts were found to be within the same order of magnitude (0.72, and 0.82 CTUe/l respectively), while eutrophication impacts were 3.2E-07 kgP-eq/l for freshwater and 2.0E-06 kgN-eq/l for marine waters. Stormwater discharges potentially have a strong contribution to ecotoxicity impacts compared to other human activities, such as human water consumption and agriculture. Conversely, contribution to aquatic eutrophication impacts was modest. Metals were identified as the main contributor to ecotoxicity impacts, causing >97% of the total impacts. This is in line with conclusions from a legal screening, where metals showed to be problematic when comparing measured concentrations against existing environmental quality standards.

KW - Ecotoxicity

KW - EQS

KW - Eutrophication

KW - Life cycle impact assessment

KW - Metals

KW - Organics

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.388

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.388

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 30738257

VL - 663

SP - 754

EP - 763

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

ER -