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Spatial and Temporal Variance of Metal and Suspended Solids Relationships in Urban Stormwater—Implications for Monitoring

Spatial and Temporal Variance of Metal and Suspended Solids Relationships in Urban Stormwater—Implications for Monitoring,10.1007/s11270-011-0919-1,Wa

Spatial and Temporal Variance of Metal and Suspended Solids Relationships in Urban Stormwater—Implications for Monitoring  
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Relationships between total suspended solids (TSS) and metals (Cu, Pb and Zn) were tested and compared amongst base and high flows of three urbanised catchments in Sydney Estuary, Australia. Significant relationships between TSS and Cu, Pb and Zn were detected for high flows within each catchment; however, no significant relationship was detected for TSS/Zn and TSS/Cu in one of the creeks (Whites Creek) and for TSS/Zn in another (Hawthorne Canal) in 2010 during base flow. Relationships between metals and TSS also varied significantly in locations of intercept and slope between high and base flow and amongst catchments. Spatial variance in TSS/metal relationships were likely caused by specific anthropogenic activities because land uses, meteorology and geology within the study catchments were similar. Results suggest TSS may be used as a surrogate for estimating metal loading in real time for urban catchments, once relationships between metals and TSS were established for individual catchments and for base and high flow conditions. Moreover, no differences in TSS/metal relationships were detected between 2009 and 2010 in Hawthorne Canal during high flow conditions, suggesting that this method of real-time monitoring may be reliable for assessing Cu, Pb and Zn loads during high flows over inter-annual periods. However, long-term consistency of TSS/metal relationships for base flow may need testing since changes in TSS/Zn and TSS/Cu relationships were detected between 2009 and 2010 in Hawthorne Canal. Although irregular discharges to stormwater did not conform to TSS/metal relationships, irregular discharges may be detected in real time by increased flow during dry weather conditions, which may facilitate regulation of these conditions that currently result in potential environmental harm to aquatic biota in Sydney Estuary.
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