Analysis of Pollution Data

When considering the significance of runoff pollutant contributions, both concentrations and total loadings must be examined. Receiving water concentrations are usually of prime concern. In principle, if pollutant concentrations do not exceed certain allowable maxima, detrimental effects will not occur. However, for many pollutants, allowable concentrations in water are not known. Because of sedimentation, accumulation of benthal deposits such as phosphorous, hydrocarbons, and heavy metals may be more significant than concentrations in the water. Receiving water column concentration and benthal accumulation depends more on mass loads of pollutants than of pollutant concentrations in the runoff.

Judging from the above, an estimate of mass loadings of the principal pollutants are of great importance for planning and management purposes. Priority should be placed on obtaining a reliable estimate of mass loadings entering a body of water because of urban runoff during a specific time, such as a year, and data collection plans should be so designed.

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