Adjustment of regional regression equations for urban storm-runoff quality using at-site data

Transportation Research Record


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Regional regression equations have been developed to estimate urban storm-runoff loads and mean concentrations using a national data base. Four statistical methods using at-site data to adjust the regional equation predictions were developed to provide better local estimates. The four adjustment procedures are a single-factor adjustment, a regression of the observed data against the predicted values, a regression of the observed values against the predicted values and additional local independent variables, and a weighted combination of a local regression with the regional prediction. Data collected at five representative storm-runoff sites during 22 storms in Little Rock, Arkansas, were used to verify, and, when appropriate, adjust the regional regression equation predictions. Comparison of observed values of stormrunoff loads and mean concentrations to the predicted values from the regional regression equations for nine constituents (chemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, total nitrogen as N, total ammonia plus organic nitrogen as N, total phosphorus as P, dissolved phosphorus as P, total recoverable copper, total recoverable lead, and total recoverable zinc) showed large prediction errors ranging from 63 percent to more than several thousand percent. Prediction errors for 6 of the 18 regional regression equations were less than 100 percent and could be considered reasonable for water-quality prediction equations. The regression adjustment procedure was used to adjust five of the regional equation predictions to improve the predictive accuracy. For seven of the regional equations the observed and the predicted values are not significantly correlated. Thus neither the unadjusted regional equations nor any of the adjustments were appropriate. The mean of the observed values was used as a simple estimator when the regional equation predictions and adjusted predictions were not appropriate.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Adjustment of regional regression equations for urban storm-runoff quality using at-site data
Series title Transportation Research Record
Issue 1523
Year Published 1996
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Transportation Research Record
First page 141
Last page 146