The influence of a green roof drainage layer on retention capacity and leakage quality

Water Sci Technol. 2018 Jul;77(11-12):2886-2895. doi: 10.2166/wst.2018.283.


The aim of the research was to determine the influence of the substrate and different drainage materials on retention capacity and runoff water quality from three green roof containers. Phosphates were chosen as the water quality indicator based on their potential adverse impact on water quality in urban rainwater collectors. The field experiment was conducted at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences Water Center meteorological station in years 2013-2015. In terms of precipitation, the monitoring period covered a wet (+147.1 mm), average (+42.7 mm) and dry (- 66.3 mm) year. Leakage from the containers was recorded when the substrate moisture exceeded 20% and precipitation exceeded 3.5 mm/d for washed gravel, or 5.0 mm/d for a polypropylene mat and expanded clay. Phosphates were observed in leachates from all containers, with higher values observed in the second year of monitoring. As the result of this study, it can be concluded that the polypropylene mat and aggregates create different conditions for the formation of the leachate, in both volumes and its chemistry. The drainage layer made from a polypropylene mat is the most effective in terms of rainwater retention capacity and the resulting leachate quality.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Facility Design and Construction / instrumentation
  • Facility Design and Construction / methods*
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Poland
  • Polypropylenes
  • Rain
  • Water / analysis
  • Water Movements
  • Water Quality*


  • Phosphates
  • Polypropylenes
  • Water