Modelling pollutant washoff from South East Queensland catchments Australia

Rahman, Ataur, Thomas, Evan C., Bhuiyan, Shamsuzzaman, & Goonetilleke, Ashantha (2002) Modelling pollutant washoff from South East Queensland catchments Australia. In Enviro 2002 and International Water Association 3rd World Water Congress, CD Rom publication, 7-12 April 2002, Melbourne.


The progressive development and urbanisation of catchments alter catchment hydrology and affects stormwater runoff quality. Urban runoff carries pollutants into natural waterways and affects stream water quality. The rapid urban development in coastal areas of South East Queensland has made a significant impact on natural waterways in the region. Efforts to develop predictive models to estimate pollutant washoff, particularly in subtropical Australia, have been limited due to acute shortage of recorded water quality data.

This paper presents a study on pollutant washoff by analysing the hydrological and water quality data of three catchments in Gold Coast region in South East Queensland, Australia. The catchments are characterised by differing forms of land development and housing density ranging from predominantly forested, to rural acreage residential (un-sewered), to urban residential (sewered). The catchments have the same geological formations and similar soil types.

This paper examines the role of rainfall in pollutant washoff and explores the interactions of various pollutants in order to develop simple predictive equations to estimate pollutant loads from rainfall characteristics. It has been found that total phosphorus washoff in an urban catchment is greater than that of the nearby forested catchment and total phosphorus shows a strong correlation with total suspended solids in the storm runoff. Simple prediction equations are developed to predict total phosphorus from total suspended solids and the equations show satisfactory goodness-of-fit and satisfy the underlying model assumptions very well.

This is an ongoing research project and the results from this exploratory analysis will form the basis of in-depth understanding and developing models of pollutant buildup and washoff processes from subtropical catchments in Australia.

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ID Code: 4330
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: urban runoff quality, pollutant washoff, urban stormwater pollution, water quality, catchment urbanisation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Water Quality Engineering (090508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Modelling (090702)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Design (090701)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 30 May 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:50

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