Special issue on stormwater in urban areas

The collection, storage, and treatment of stormwater in urban areas has long been one of the classical disciplines of sanitary and environmental engineering. Waste and pollution transported by stormwater poses quantity and quality problems, affects public health, and threatens the quality of the environment – i.e. most important surface water ecosystems.

While traditional solutions have been mostly concerned with discharge and storage, there has been increasing attention in recent years on quality issues. This is because of pollution of the receiving water due to urban stormwater management, and the potential use of stormwater as an alternative source of freshwater.

This special issue of Water Research covers the most important issues related to the management of stormwater, with 26 articles. The objective is to give an overview of the state-of-the-art, by presenting the latest findings of high-quality research within the new hot topics related to stormwater.

The first part of this special issue presents findings in relation to stormwater quality. The papers deal with highway runoff, toxic substances, pathogens, and priority pollutants. Results are given from monitoring campaigns (mostly from the US, Europe, and Australia), but also in the context of comprehensive literature reviews.

The second half of the issue deals more broadly with a wider spectrum of topics. The papers cover hydraulic aspects, filtration and clogging of stormwater facilities like swales, permeable pavement, and biofilters.

Another group of papers cover design principles of stormwater management, specifically focusing on sustainable solutions, but also on pluvial flooding.

The final papers cover modelling, data treatment, and uncertainty analysis in relation to stormwater.

The editors hope that these papers addressing major challenges will show that there are promising solutions available to meet these challenges.

Water Research, Volume 46, Issue 20, 15 December 2012, Pages 6587–6904.