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Quality issues in harvested rainwater in arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau of northern China

Zhu, K; Zhang, Linus LU ; Hart, W; Liu, MC and Chen, H (2004) In Journal of Arid Environments 57(4). p.487-505
Abstract
Loess soils cover vast areas in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. Due to the lack of reliable surface water and ground-water, rainwater harvesting has played a prominent role in farmers' domestic usage and agricultural irrigation. An economical arid valid type of water storage cistern with optimum design of components has been introduced to rural areas in the Loess Plateau. Different collection alternatives showed apparent variations in rainwater quality. By using different catchments, such as mortar roofs and cement-paved courtyards, compacted land or road surfaces, rainwater can be effectively collected for storage in cisterns. This study focused mainly on the quality of rainwater harvested from the different catchment... (More)
Loess soils cover vast areas in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. Due to the lack of reliable surface water and ground-water, rainwater harvesting has played a prominent role in farmers' domestic usage and agricultural irrigation. An economical arid valid type of water storage cistern with optimum design of components has been introduced to rural areas in the Loess Plateau. Different collection alternatives showed apparent variations in rainwater quality. By using different catchments, such as mortar roofs and cement-paved courtyards, compacted land or road surfaces, rainwater can be effectively collected for storage in cisterns. This study focused mainly on the quality of rainwater harvested from the different catchment systems and stored for different periods of time. By analysis of the water samples stored in these cisterns, it was evident that rainwater quality could be improved significantly by self-purification during the storage. With emphasis on rainwater quality affected by the different catchment systems, it was found that the measured inorganic compounds in the rainwater harvested from roof-yard catchment systems generally matched the WHO standards for drinking water, while the concentrations of some inorganic compounds in the rainwater collected from land and road surfaces appeared to be higher than the guideline values for drinking water, but generally not beyond the maximum permissible concentrations. However, Fecal Coliform, which is an important bacteriological parameter for the three catchment systems, exceeded the limits of drinking water to a greater extend. Trace amounts of 55 organic pollutants were identified, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds and phthalate esters, etc. The analytical results indicated that roof-yard catchments that included the "first flush" usually provided safe drinking water with low organic contents, even for rainwater collected immediately after rainfall. In contrast, rainwater harvested from road surfaces had poor quality with respect to the organic constituents, regardless of stored time. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
chemical compounds, quality, rainwater, cistern, catchment, rainwater harvesting, Loess soil, organic pollutants
in
Journal of Arid Environments
volume
57
issue
4
pages
487 - 505
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000221112900005
  • scopus:1942538409
ISSN
1095-922X
DOI
10.1016/S0140-1963(03)00118-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f67ed304-f0d6-4554-b5e1-9cca132300b2 (old id 280423)
date added to LUP
2007-10-26 08:55:27
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:46:06
@article{f67ed304-f0d6-4554-b5e1-9cca132300b2,
  abstract     = {Loess soils cover vast areas in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. Due to the lack of reliable surface water and ground-water, rainwater harvesting has played a prominent role in farmers' domestic usage and agricultural irrigation. An economical arid valid type of water storage cistern with optimum design of components has been introduced to rural areas in the Loess Plateau. Different collection alternatives showed apparent variations in rainwater quality. By using different catchments, such as mortar roofs and cement-paved courtyards, compacted land or road surfaces, rainwater can be effectively collected for storage in cisterns. This study focused mainly on the quality of rainwater harvested from the different catchment systems and stored for different periods of time. By analysis of the water samples stored in these cisterns, it was evident that rainwater quality could be improved significantly by self-purification during the storage. With emphasis on rainwater quality affected by the different catchment systems, it was found that the measured inorganic compounds in the rainwater harvested from roof-yard catchment systems generally matched the WHO standards for drinking water, while the concentrations of some inorganic compounds in the rainwater collected from land and road surfaces appeared to be higher than the guideline values for drinking water, but generally not beyond the maximum permissible concentrations. However, Fecal Coliform, which is an important bacteriological parameter for the three catchment systems, exceeded the limits of drinking water to a greater extend. Trace amounts of 55 organic pollutants were identified, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds and phthalate esters, etc. The analytical results indicated that roof-yard catchments that included the "first flush" usually provided safe drinking water with low organic contents, even for rainwater collected immediately after rainfall. In contrast, rainwater harvested from road surfaces had poor quality with respect to the organic constituents, regardless of stored time.},
  author       = {Zhu, K and Zhang, Linus and Hart, W and Liu, MC and Chen, H},
  issn         = {1095-922X},
  keyword      = {chemical compounds,quality,rainwater,cistern,catchment,rainwater harvesting,Loess soil,organic pollutants},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {487--505},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Arid Environments},
  title        = {Quality issues in harvested rainwater in arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau of northern China},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-1963(03)00118-6},
  volume       = {57},
  year         = {2004},
}