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. 2012 Jun 30;101:33-45.
doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

Performance of Stormwater Detention Tanks for Urban Drainage Systems in Northern Italy

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Performance of Stormwater Detention Tanks for Urban Drainage Systems in Northern Italy

Sara Todeschini et al. J Environ Manage. .

Abstract

The performance of stormwater detention tanks with alternative design configurations (insertion in the storm sewer network; volume per impervious hectare) and operating conditions (continuous and intermittent emptying rules) have been evaluated according to an integrated approach. Various performance indices have been adopted to describe the mitigation of the pollution impact to the natural environment, the reduction of the management and maintenance charges for the urban drainage system, the preservation of the normal purification efficiency, and the limitation of the costs at the treatment plant. The US EPA Storm Water Management Model has been used to simulate the rainfall-runoff process and the pollutant dynamics on theoretical catchments and storm sewer networks for an individual event, as well as for a continuous run of events and inter event periods of one year recorded at the rain gauge of Cascina Scala (Pavia, northern Italy). Also the influence of the main characteristics of the urban catchment and the drainage system (area of the catchment and slope of the network) on the performance of alternative design and operating solutions has been examined. Stormwater detention tanks combined with flow regulators demonstrated good performance with respect to environmental pollution: satisfactory performance indicators can be obtained with fairly low flow rates of flow regulators (0.5-1 L/s per hectare of impervious area) and tank volumes of about 35-50 m(3) per impervious hectare. Continuous emptying guaranteed the lowest number and duration of overflows, while an intermittent operation minimised the volume sent for purification reducing the costs and the risks of impairment in the normal treatment efficiency of the plant. Overall, simulation outcomes revealed that the performance indexes are scarcely affected by the area of the catchment and the slope of the drainage network. The result of this study represents a key issue for the implementation of environmental policies in large urban areas.

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