Publication Details

May, D. & Sivakumar, M. (2009). Prediction of nutrient concentrations in urban storm water. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135 (8), 586-594.


Excessive quantities of nutrients in urban storm-water runoff can lead to problems such as eutrophication in receiving water bodies. Accurate process based models are difficult to construct due to the vast array of complex phenomena affecting nutrient concentrations. Furthermore, it is often impossible to successfully apply process based models to catchments with limited or no sampling. This has created the need for simple models capable of predicting nutrient concentrations at unmonitored catchments. In this study, simple statistical models were constructed to predict six different types of nutrients present in urban storm-water runoff: ammonia (NH3), nitrogen oxides (NOx), total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total nitrogen, dissolved phosphorus, and total phosphorus. Models were constructed using data from the United States, collected as a part of the Nationwide Urban Stormwater Program more than two decades ago. Comparison between the models revealed that regression models were generally more applicable than the simple estimates of mean concentration from homogeneous subsets, separated based upon land use or the metropolitan area. Regression models were generally more accurate and provided valuable insight into the most important processes influencing nutrient concentrations in urban storm-water runoff.

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