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Performance of vegetated swales for improving road runoff quality in a moderate traffic urban area

Abstract : In recent years, due to their economic and ecological advantages, green infrastructures for stormwater management have been widely implemented. The present study focused on vegetated swales and compared two vegetated covers, grassed or planted with macrophytes in order to evaluate their performance in terms of water quality improvement. These swales collected runoff of a moderately busy road (<2500vehday(-1)) in a commercial area. Twelve storm events were analyzed over a two year period with measurement of total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total hydrocarbons (THC), total phosphorous (TP), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), trace elements and 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The grass cover led to poor results due to lower retention of soil particles on which trace elements and PAHs are bounded. The swales planted with macrophytes, with a deeper root system more capable of retaining soil particles, led to reductions of concentrations from 17 to 45% for trace elements such as lead, zinc and copper and 30% for the 16 PAHs in infiltrated waters. In addition, the macrophyte cover showed lower variability of pollutant concentrations in infiltrated waters compared to incoming waters. This buffering capacity is interesting to mitigate the impact of moderate peak pollution on surface water or ground water quality.
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Marie-Charlotte Leroy, Florence Portet-Koltalo, Marc Legras, Franck Lederf, Vincent Moncond'Huy, et al.. Performance of vegetated swales for improving road runoff quality in a moderate traffic urban area. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2016, 566-567, pp.113-121. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.027⟩. ⟨hal-02409809⟩



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