Water quality impacts of young green roofs in a tropical city: a case study from Singapore

Lim, H.S., Segovia, E., and Ziegler, A.D. (2021) Water quality impacts of young green roofs in a tropical city: a case study from Singapore. Blue-Green Systems, 3 (1). pp. 145-163.

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This study examined the effects of two substrates (SOIL and COMMERCIAL) and grass on the green roof runoff quality in Singapore. Ten events were sampled over a 9-month period. Rainfall and green roof runoff from grass and bare experimental configurations were tested for total organic carbon (TOC), nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients (NO3−-N and PO43−-P), cations/anions and trace metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb). All configuration units neutralised acid rainfall and removed metals except Fe despite their proximity to an industrial area. Concentrations decrease over the monitoring period for most water quality variables. The COMMERCIAL (COM) configurations elevated Cl− (3.8–10.8 ppm), SO42− (1.5–32.4 ppm), NO3−-N (7.8–75.6 ppm) and NH4+-N (22.0–53.1 ppm) concentrations in the runoff. Concentrations of NO3−-N (4.5–67.7 ppm) and NH4+-N (14.7–53.0 ppm) remained high at the end of the monitoring period for the COMgrass configuration, even with dilution from monsoon rainfall, making it suitable as an irrigation water source and a fertiliser substitute. The SOIL substrate retained N-nutrients, TOC and trace metals with concentrations comparable or below rainfall inputs. This substrate is suitable for widespread green roof applications in Singapore and other tropical cities. We recommend substrate testing before their approval for use on green roofs and encourage the long-term monitoring of these systems.

Item ID: 71188
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2617-4782
Keywords: carbon, eutrophication, green roof water quality, nutrients, trace metals
Copyright Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 01:10
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1899 Other environmental management > 189999 Other environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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