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Water Quality and Pollutant Loads at Selected Combined Sewer Overflow Sites, Detroit, Michigan, 1996

By: Sweat, M.J.


Four combined sewer overflows (CSOs) discharging to the Detroit River in Detroit, Michigan were monitored to characterize storm-related water quantity and quality and to calculate their respective annual pollutant loads. Water-level, velocity, stage, discharge, and precipitation were measured continuously. Samples were collected at discrete times during each storm event. Thus, estimates of the variability of pollutant concentrations during a single event can be made. Conventional field parameters, including pH and dissolved oxygen were determined, and water samples were collected and analyzed for inorganic and organic constituents. The pollutants of interest included fecal coliform, fecal streptococci, and E. coli; antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, total chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, silver, thallium and zinc; and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners, volatile organic compounds, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Data indicate discharge-related trends for some pollutants. A relationship between CSO discharges and pollutant concentrations has been determined for each site, and estimates of pollutant loads calculated. The relationships vary between sites, and even at individual sites from event to event, depending upon event duration, time between events, drainage basin characteristics, and the chemical properties of the pollutant of interest.

Sweat, M.J., 1996, Water quality and pollutant loads at selected combined sewer overflow sites, Detroit, Michigan: International Association of Great Lakes Researchers, Final Program, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 26-30, 1996, 144 p.

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