Green infrastructure and climate change impacts on the flows and water quality of urban catchments: Salmons Brook and Pymmes Brook in north-east London

Bussi, Gianbattista; Whitehead, Paul G.; Nelson, Rosie; Bryden, John; Jackson, Christopher R.; Hughes, Andrew G.; Butler, Adrian P.; Landström, Catharina; Peters, Helge; Dadson, Simon; Russell, Ian. 2022 Green infrastructure and climate change impacts on the flows and water quality of urban catchments: Salmons Brook and Pymmes Brook in north-east London. Hydrology Research, 53 (4), 638.

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Poor water quality is a widespread issue in urban rivers and streams in London. Localised pollution can have impacts on local communities, from health issues to environmental degradation and restricted recreational use of water. The Salmons and Pymmes Brooks, located in the London Borough of Enfield, flow into the River Lee, and in this paper, the impacts of misconnected sewers, urban runoff and atmospheric pollution have been evaluated. The first step towards finding a sustainable and effective solution to these issues is to identify sources and paths of pollutants and to understand their cycle through catchments and rivers. The INCA water quality model has been applied to the Salmons and Pymmes urban catchments in north-east London, with the aim of providing local communities and community action groups such as Thames21 with a tool they can use to assess the water quality issue. INCA is a process-based, dynamic flow and quality model, and so it can account for daily changes in temperature, flow, water velocity and residence time that all affect reaction kinetics and hence chemical flux. As INCA is process-based, a set of mitigation strategies have been evaluated including constructed wetland across the catchment to assess pollution control. The constructed wetlands can make a significant difference reducing sediment transport and improving nutrient control for nitrogen and phosphorus. The results of this paper show that a substantial reduction in nitrate, ammonium and phosphorus concentrations can be achieved if a proper catchment-scale wetland implementation strategy is put in place. Furthermore, the paper shows how the nutrient reduction efficiency of the wetlands should not be affected by climate change.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0029-1277
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: catchment management, green infrastructure, modelling, urban rivers, water quality, wetlands
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 01 Apr 2022 10:13 +0 (UTC)

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