Characterization of the urban runoff from the city of Saskatoon to the South Saskatchewan river
A major upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant in Saskatoon, Canada significantly improved the final effluent quality. Consequently, the relative impact of the city’s urban runoff on the receiving stream, the South Saskatchewan River, has increased. Moreover, at the inception of the study, pending amendments to provincial legislation governing urban runoff were such that urban runoff would no longer be automatically exempt from regulation. In response to this impending change, which has since been made, Saskatchewan Environment initiated a study to examine the water quality of the urban runoff in Saskatoon, because little had been done to date involving the water quality of urban runoff in Saskatchewan.The field program was conducted in 2001 and 2002 to collect representative urban runoff water quality and flow rate data from four different land uses: newer residential, older residential, commercial, and industrial. Three characterizations of the water quality were developed on the basis of the data collected: Site Mean Concentration (SMC), multiple variable regression models, and the unit load. The SMC results indicate that the average water quality parameter concentrations in Saskatoon are greater than those from NURP, the updated U.S. nationwide urban runoff database, and from Vancouver, Canada, but are similar to those from Wisconsin. The regression analyses indicate that the rainfall depth is the most frequently significant parameter in the prediction of event loads. The unit load analyses indicate that the commercial catchment produces the most pollutant load per unit area. Comparison of the methods indicates that the SMC can be used to estimate longer term urban runoff loads, in lieu of the more complex regression method.Heavy metals, pesticides, and fecal coliforms were detected in the urban runoff at concentrations that exceed guideline values. Further investigation is recommended.In comparison to the loads discharged by local point sources, urban runoff contributes larger total suspended solids (TSS) and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) loads to the South Saskatchewan River. The load of COD to the river is comparable to that of the Saskatoon Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The total phosphorus load contributed by urban runoff is slightly smaller than that of the WWTP. Considering the relative load of TSS from urban runoff to the WWTP and the potential for other, more toxic pollutants to adsorb to the TSS, sediment controls should be implemented at all levels of development. Further examination of urban runoff with specific emphasis on spring and winter runoff is recommended.
land use, unit load, regression, event mean concentration, site mean concentration, water pollution, storm sewers
Master of Science (M.Sc.)