Roof runoff water quality - A comparison of traditional roofing materials

Natasha Nicholson, Shirley Elizabeth Clark, Brett V. Long, Christina Y.S. Siu, Julia Spicher, Kelly A. Steele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing urbanization and rapidly growing populations are beginning to place a strain on the world's potable water supply. The use of harvested rainwater is one approach for freeing up potable water for more essential applications such as drinking water. Roofs are a readily available surface area that can easily be adapted for rainwater collection; however, some surface materials are not benign and may be more likely to leach contaminants than others. For this study, several commonly available roofing materials (uncoated galvanized, coated galvanized, cedar shakes, asphalt shingles, treated woods, and a green roof) were evaluated for runoff water quality for approximately a year and a half. The runoff samples were analyzed for zinc, copper, pH, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and conductivity. In addition, a plexiglass roof panel was evaluated as a control in order to subtract background atmospheric contributions from the runoff concentrations. Data from this study showed that traditional roofing materials such as uncoated galvanized metal and treated woods are more likely to leach heavy metals, nitrates, and ammonia than other materials such as green roofs and coated metal roofs. Currently, the water quality data is being compared to recorded storm data and inter-event times to determine what factors affect the quality of the runoff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges of Change - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010
Pages3349-3355
Number of pages7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2010
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change - Providence, RI, United States
Duration: May 16 2010May 20 2010

Publication series

NameWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010

Other

OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change
CountryUnited States
CityProvidence, RI
Period5/16/105/20/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology

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