Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Novotny, Vladimir

Second Advisor

Zanoni, A. E.

Third Advisor

Crandall, Clifford J.


Ambient aquatic life water quality criteria data, and water quality data for stormwater events was used to evaluate the risk to aquatic biota from urban stormwater discharges. This analysis featured in this thesis was performed for the metals copper, lead, and zinc for Lincoln Creek in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has been a common practice to use water quality criteria to evaluate pollution of stormwater and use such evaluations of standard exceedences for development of stormwater pollution control policies. The analysis presented in this thesis indicate that simplistic application of current water quality criteria may lead to highly overprotective proposals for control. A review of the literature confirm that urban storm water runoff contributes significant loads of pollutants, especially metals, to urban streams. The source of the pollutants along with the form the pollutants take is further investigated. The components of a water quality criteria for freshwater aquatic life along with the procedures used to derive these components are explained. A method for calculating risk to aquatic biota is defined. Probability functions are calculated and used to describe the concentration of metals in storm water runoff, and the probability of genera being affected. The joint probability is used to calculate the risk. Results of the joint probability is presented along with.the conclusions. Future research needs are also iidentified.



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