Environmental risks connected to urban stormwater (USW) Dr Lian Lundy Reader in Sustainable Water Management

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1 Environmental risks connected to urban stormwater (USW) Dr Lian Lundy Reader in Sustainable Water Management

2 Is stormwater dangerous??

3 Overview of presentation Stormwater and risk management; UK perspective Field data in comparison to selected water and sediment standards Implications for environmental and human health? Risk assessment methodology Risk-based prioritisation of diffuse pollutant sources

4 USW management and risk assessment in the UK Frameworks to assess flood risks arising from USW at national and local levels No specific assessment procedure for quantifying USW pollution risks USW quality highlighted in the risk characterisation mapping of UK river basin districts (EU WFD) 28% of UK rivers as heavily modified water bodies 91% are urban receiving waters

5 Managing USW quantity vs quality Flood risk assessment refers to mitigating USW pollution but: Flood risk evaluation applied to infrequent, high magnitude rainfall events(>1:30 RI) Greatest USW quality impacts associated with high frequency, low magnitude (<1:1 RI) rainfall events

6 Water and sediment quality standards Water EU Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) Directive EU Freshwater Fisheries Directive River Ecosystem (RE) Classification System Sediments Canadian Interim Sediment Quality Guidelines US EPA Sediment Quality Guidelines Swedish EPA Quality Criteria for Sediments

7 Concentrations for selected pollutants in runoff from a range of land-use types Sources / landuse types BOD (mg/l) Nutrients (mg/l) Metals (ug/l) TSS (mg/l) Hydrocarbons (ug/l) Misconnections Total P: 39 NH 4 : Residential 0-17 Total N: 0-6; NH 4 : Highways and motorways Cd: 0-5 Zn: 150 Pb: Total N: 0-4 Cd: Zn: Pb: Ni: Commercial 5-22 NH 4 : Ni: Industrial 8-23 NH 4 : Roofs 3-8 NH 4 : Pb: Gully Liquors Total N: Pb: Taken from Lundy et al., 2011

8 Minimum and maximum total concentrations of metals measured in urban river sediments (µg/g dry weight) n Cd Cr Cu Ni Pb Zn Scholes et al., Rhoads and Cahill, Wilson and Clarke, Filgueiras et al., Thevenot et al., Samecka-Cymerman and Kempers (2007) Walling et al., Carpentier et al., < <5-172 <5-30 < Taken from Scholes et al., 2008

9 Other approaches to assessing urban receiving water Biological quality BMWP a EU HMWB ecological potential b EA RE class High biological diversity; several species in taxa >90 Very good RE1 Small reduction in pollution tolerant taxa Many sensitive species absent; rise in pollution tolerant taxa Sensitive taxa scarce; some pollution tolerant species in large numbers Restricted to pollution tolerant species with a few dominant taxa Good RE Moderate RE Poor RE4 <10 Bad RE5 Key: a Biological Monitoring Working Party classification; 0 10: heavily polluted, 11 40: polluted (ecologically impacted), 41 70:moderately impacted, 71 90: clean but slightly impacted, >90: very good; no signs of impaction. b European Union Heavily Modified Water body ecological potential.

10 Source-pathway-receptor: a complete chain? Sources? Pathways? Receptor?

11 Conventional risk assessment methodology Identify hazards Assess likelihood of occurrence Assess level of impact Likelihood of occurrence x level of impact = risk score Rank risk scores to support prioritisation risks

12 Conventional risk assessment methodology applied to diffuse pollutants from specific sources Identify hazards: TSS, BOD, metals, hydrocarbons, microorganisms, PPCPs.. Likelihood of occurrence: probability of a specific pollutant discharging to receiving waters via stormwater flow Level of impact: consequences of discharge on receiving water ecology Likelihood of occurrence x Level of impact = risk score Rank risk scores to support prioritisation of risks

13 Guide to how the likelihood of a specific pollutant from an identified source occurring in USW could be graded Likelihood of occurrence Very high probability High probability Medium probability Low probability Very low probability Possible descriptors for relative grading Widely established that pollutant enters USW from multiple materials, activities or processes with EMCs an order of magnitude > background levels Field data from several studies indicate pollutant enters USW from a single material, activity or process with EMCs consistently > background levels Field data from a single study indicates presence of pollutant in stormwater flows with EMCs occasionally above reported background levels Field and modelled data indicate presence of pollutant in USW during some storm events No field or modelling data available relating to presence of pollutant in USW Value associated with likelihood

14 Guide to how the level of consequence of USW discharging to receiving waters could be graded Level of consequence Critical Damaging Significant Minor Insignificant Example descriptors for relative grading Complete system compromise e.g. regular failure to meet EQS during <1 yr storm; dilution factor (DF) required to meet EQS >100 Consistent failure to meet regulatory requirements for <1 yr storm e.g. temporary loss of receiving water ecology; DF required to meet EQS: Moderate impact with occasional EQS exceedance; potential to cause public/political concern; tangible ecological/amenity damage; DF to meet EQS Minor: minimum impact mainly associated with specific accidental discharges; some additional costs/efforts required; DF to meet EQS: 2-10 No impact felt on receiving water and no mitigating measures required; DF to meet EQS <2 Value associated with consequence

15 Guide to how the level of consequence of USW discharging to receiving waters could be graded Insignificant (1) Severity of consequence Minor (2) Significant (3) Damaging (4) Critical (5) Likelihood of occurrence Very low (1) Low (2) Medium (3) High (4) Very high (5)

16 Risk rating scores for different pollutants with respect to rural and urban motorways Likelihood of occurrence Rural motorways Level of consequence Risk score Likelihood of occurrence Urban motorways Level of consequence Risk score TSS BOD Cd Pb

17 Conclusions A methodology for prioritising risks to receiving water quality from USW discharging from different sources Combining the source-specific likelihood of pollutants occurring with the consequences of ecological impact underpins the development of risk scores TSS, Cd and Pb concentrations in urban motorway runoff pose a high risk to receiving water quality Methodology enables practitioners to identify optimal remedial strategies for reducing the impacts of diffuse pollution.

18 Thank you! From Lundy and Lundy, 2009

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