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Rainfall is a significant source of some constituents, particularly nitrogen species, in storm runoff from urban catchments. Median contributions of rainfall to storm runoff loads of 12 constituents from 31 urban catchments, representing eight geographic locations within the United States, ranged from 2 percent for suspended solids to 74 percent for total nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen. The median contribution of total nitrogen in rainfall to runoff loads was 41 percent. Median contributions of total-recoverable lead in rainfall to runoff loads varied by as much as an order of magnitude between catchments in the same geographic location. This indicates that average estimates of rainfall contributions to constituent loading in storm runoff may not be suitable in studies requiring accurate constituent mass-balance computations.
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CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAINFALL TO CONSTITUENT LOADS IN STORM RUNOFF FROM URBAN CATCHMENTS.