Rainfall and runoff quantity and quality were monitored for industrial, single-dwelling residential, multiple-dwelling residential, and commercial land-use catchments during the 1981-82 and 1982-83 rain seasons. Storm-composite rainfall and discrete run6ff samples were analyzed for numerous inorganic, biological, physical, and organic constituents. Atmospheric dry-deposition and street-surface particulate samples also were collected and analyzed.
With the exception of the industrial catchment, the highest runoff concentrations for most constituents occurred during the initial storm runoff and then decreased throughout the remainder of the storm, independent of hydraulic conditions. Metal concentrations were high during initial runoff, but also increased as flow increased. Constituent concentrations for the industrial catchment fluctuated greatly during storms.
Statistical tests showed higher ammonia plus organic nitrogen, ammonia, pH, and phenol concentrations in rainfall at the industrial site than at the single-dwelling residential and laboratory sites. Statistical testing of runoff quality data showed higher concentrations for the industrial catchment than for the two residential and commercial catchments for most constituents. Total recoverable lead was one of the few constituents that had lower concentrations for the industrial catchment than for the other three catchments. The two residential catchments showed no significant difference in runoff concentrations for 50 of the 57 constituents used in the statistical analysis. The commercial catchment runoff concentrations for most constituents generally were similar to the residential catchments.
Although constituent concentrations generally were higher for the industrial catchment than for the commercial catchment, constituent storm loads from the commercial catchment were similar to the industrial catchment because of the greater runoff volume from the highly impervious commercial catchment. Between 10 and 50 percent of the constituent runoff loads for the two residential catchments were attributed to the rainfall load, with the percentages generally considerably less for the industrial catchment.
Event mean concentrations (EMC) for most constituents for all but the industrial catchment were highest for the first two or three storms of the rain season after which they became almost constant. Constituent event mean concentrations for the industrial catchment generally did not show any pattern throughout a rain season. Multiple-regression predictor equations for event mean concentrations were developed for several constituents for all sites. Average annual constituent unit loads were computed for 18 constituents for each catchment.
The organophosphorus compounds, diazinon, malathion, and parathion were the most prevalent pesticides detected in rainfall. Diazinon was detected in all 54 rainfall samples. Parathion and malathion were detected in 49 and 50 samples, respectively. Other pesticides detected in rainfall included chlordane, lindane, methoxychlor, endosulfan, and 2,4-D. Of these, only methoxychlor and endosulfan were not consistently detected in runoff.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Rainfall and runoff quantity and quality characteristics of four urban land-use catchments in Fresno, California, October 1981 to April 1983
Water Supply Paper
U.S. G.P.O. ;
For sale by the Books and Open-File Reports Section, U.S. Geological Survey,