Infoscience

Journal article

Probabilistic environmental risk assessment of urban wet-weather discharges: an approach developed for Switzerland

Technical solutions aimed at limiting the impacts of urban wet-weather discharges are historically based on an end-of-pipe approach. The characteristics of wet-weather discharges, e. g. intermittent pollution loads, high variations in pollutant concentrations, effects in the receiving waters, etc., are generally not considered. This study presents a new probabilistic approach that links the characteristics of wet-weather discharges to their potential impacts in receiving waters. This new approach involves coupling a model for predicting fluctuating concentrations in rivers along with sediment changes to water quality criteria. The new approach produces a risk profile for receiving waters and includes assessment of uncertainty in input data as well as the uncertainty inherent in local receiving system processes. This new approach is expected to offer a better management of wet-weather discharges, resulting in lower environmental impacts.

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