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Water quality of storm runoff and comparison of procedures for estimating storm-runoff loads, volume, event-mean concentrations, and the mean load for a storm for selected properties and constituents for Colorado Springs, southeastern Colorado, 1992

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4194

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Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that municipalities that have a population of 100,000 or greater obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to characterize the quality of their storm runoff. In 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Springs City Engineering Division, began a study to characterize the water quality of storm runoff and to evaluate procedures for the estimation of storm-runoff loads, volume and event-mean concentrations for selected properties and constituents. Precipitation, streamflow, and water-quality data were collected during 1992 at five sites in Colorado Springs. Thirty-five samples were collected, seven at each of the five sites. At each site, three samples were collected for permitting purposes; two of the samples were collected during rainfall runoff, and one sample was collected during snowmelt runoff. Four additional samples were collected at each site to obtain a large enough sample size to estimate storm-runoff loads, volume, and event-mean concentrations for selected properties and constituents using linear-regression procedures developed using data from the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP). Storm-water samples were analyzed for as many as 186 properties and constituents. The constituents measured include total-recoverable metals, vola-tile-organic compounds, acid-base/neutral organic compounds, and pesticides. Storm runoff sampled had large concentrations of chemical oxygen demand and 5-day biochemical oxygen demand. Chemical oxygen demand ranged from 100 to 830 milligrams per liter, and 5.-day biochemical oxygen demand ranged from 14 to 260 milligrams per liter. Total-organic carbon concentrations ranged from 18 to 240 milligrams per liter. The total-recoverable metals lead and zinc had the largest concentrations of the total-recoverable metals analyzed. Concentrations of lead ranged from 23 to 350 micrograms per liter, and concentrations of zinc ranged from 110 to 1,400 micrograms per liter. The data for 30 storms representing rainfall runoff from 5 drainage basins were used to develop single-storm local-regression models. The response variables, storm-runoff loads, volume, and event-mean concentrations were modeled using explanatory variables for climatic, physical, and land-use characteristics. The r2 for models that use ordinary least-squares regression ranged from 0.57 to 0.86 for storm-runoff loads and volume and from 0.25 to 0.63 for storm-runoff event-mean concentrations. Except for cadmium, standard errors of estimate ranged from 43 to 115 percent for storm- runoff loads and volume and from 35 to 66 percent for storm-runoff event-mean concentrations. Eleven of the 30 concentrations collected during rainfall runoff for total-recoverable cadmium were censored (less than) concentrations. Ordinary least-squares regression should not be used with censored data; however, censored data can be included with uncensored data using tobit regression. Standard errors of estimate for storm-runoff load and event-mean concentration for total-recoverable cadmium, computed using tobit regression, are 247 and 171 percent. Estimates from single-storm regional-regression models, developed from the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program data base, were compared with observed storm-runoff loads, volume, and event-mean concentrations determined from samples collected in the study area. Single-storm regional-regression models tended to overestimate storm-runoff loads, volume, and event-mean con-centrations. Therefore, single-storm local- and regional-regression models were combined using model-adjustment procedures to take advantage of the strengths of both models while minimizing the deficiencies of each model. Procedures were used to develop single-stormregression equations that were adjusted using local data and estimates from single-storm regional-regression equations. Single-storm regression models developed using model- adjustment proce

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water quality of storm runoff and comparison of procedures for estimating storm-runoff loads, volume, event-mean concentrations, and the mean load for a storm for selected properties and constituents for Colorado Springs, southeastern Colorado, 1992
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
94-4194
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1995
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section,
Description:
iv, 68 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.