Multiple rainfall event pollution transport by Sustainable Drainage Systems: the fate of fine sediment pollution

Deonie Anthea Allen, Scott Arthur, Heather Haynes, Valerie Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


A key design criterion of sustainable urban drainage systems is to mitigate urban stormwater pollution. Current research defines sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) pollutant treatment efficiency through the detention of total suspended solids, urban nutrients and heavy metal pollutants within the system during a design flow event, with research focusing on sand (>2 mm) sediment movement. The impact of multiple rainfall–runoff events on the fine sediment (<2 mm) treatment efficiency of SuDS is not yet well defined, and the temporal movement of detained sediment has not been investigated in detail. The field research presented in this paper addresses this research gap, monitoring ongoing fine sediment transport through a best-practice-designed SuDS network over 12 months through the use of a novel rare earth oxide trace methodology. Through time-stepped monitoring of the fine sediment pollution across three SuDS treatment trains (networks), the following key conclusions have been drawn. (1) That fine sediment becomes re-suspended and re-deposited within SuDS assets and the network as a result of ongoing multiple rainfall–runoff events. (2) That this re-suspension continues for over 52 weeks. (3) That by area, linear wetlands (within the monitored networks) outperform wetland and swale assets in multiple event fine sediment detention. And (4) that multiple event monitoring and analysis of fine sediment within a SuDS network highlights the under-performance of SuDS assets against current design event expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639–652
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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