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Development of a Catchment Water Quality Model for Continuous Simulations of Pollutants Build-up and Wash-off

Authors: Iqbal Hossain, Dr. Monzur Imteaz, Dr. Shirley Gato-Trinidad, Prof. Abdallah Shanableh


Estimation of runoff water quality parameters is required to determine appropriate water quality management options. Various models are used to estimate runoff water quality parameters. However, most models provide event-based estimates of water quality parameters for specific sites. The work presented in this paper describes the development of a model that continuously simulates the accumulation and wash-off of water quality pollutants in a catchment. The model allows estimation of pollutants build-up during dry periods and pollutants wash-off during storm events. The model was developed by integrating two individual models; rainfall-runoff model, and catchment water quality model. The rainfall-runoff model is based on the time-area runoff estimation method. The model allows users to estimate the time of concentration using a range of established methods. The model also allows estimation of the continuing runoff losses using any of the available estimation methods (i.e., constant, linearly varying or exponentially varying). Pollutants build-up in a catchment was represented by one of three pre-defined functions; power, exponential, or saturation. Similarly, pollutants wash-off was represented by one of three different functions; power, rating-curve, or exponential. The developed runoff water quality model was set-up to simulate the build-up and wash-off of total suspended solids (TSS), total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN). The application of the model was demonstrated using available runoff and TSS field data from road and roof surfaces in the Gold Coast, Australia. The model provided excellent representation of the field data demonstrating the simplicity yet effectiveness of the proposed model.

Keywords: runoff, catchment, continuous pollutants build-up, pollutants wash-off, runoff water quality model

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