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, 355 (1-3), 48-63

The Influence of Extensive Vegetated Roofs on Runoff Water Quality

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The Influence of Extensive Vegetated Roofs on Runoff Water Quality

Justyna Czemiel Berndtsson et al. Sci Total Environ.

Abstract

The influence of extensive sedum-moss vegetated roofs on runoff water quality was studied for four full scale installations located in southern Sweden. The aim of the study was to ascertain whether the vegetated roof behaves as a sink or a source of pollutants and whether the age of a vegetated roof influences runoff quality. The runoff quality from vegetated roofs was also compared with the runoff quality from non-vegetated roofs located in study areas. The following metals and nutrients were investigated: Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Pb, Zn, NO3-N, NH4-N, Tot-N, PO4-P, and Tot-P. The results show that, with the exception of nitrogen, vegetated roofs behave as source of contaminants. While in lower concentrations than normally found in urban runoff, some metals appear in concentrations that would correspond to moderately polluted natural water. Nitrate nitrogen is retained by the vegetation or soil or both. Apart from the oldest, the studied vegetated roofs contribute phosphate phosphorus to the runoff. The maintenance of the vegetation systems on the roofs has to be carefully designed in order to avoid storm-water contamination; for instance, the use of easily dissolvable fertilizers should be avoided.

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