Clean stormwater runoff

Stormwater runoff is the largest unfiltered source of potentially high micropollutant loads discharged to urban surface waters. In Berlin alone, approximately 78% of stormwater runoff per year, or 54 million cubic metres, is discharged mostly untreated.

Through our research project OgRe we supported the further development of Berlin’s micropollutant strategy. These results were also recently published in Water, which is drumming up lots of interest. We’ve also made the datasets – a valuable source of information – freely available on the Zenodo platform. The dataset presented is unique in that it identifies a large spectrum of micropollutants in the stormwater runoff of 5 different urban catchment types as well as in an urban river during storm events. The raw data are freely available on KWB’s Zenodo page as two datasets on concentrations in stormwater runoff and in water bodies.

Building on the findings from OgRe, in the BaSaR project we developed together with the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Science (OST) measures to reduce micropollutant inputs into stormwater runoff from buildings. On behalf of the German Environment Agency (UBA), we have produced a guideline with 3 fact sheets describing specific measures to avoid or reduce pollution in stormwater runoff when planning the design of roofs, facades and properties. The guidline and fact sheets are now available on the UBA website.

Through our work, we’re making an important contribution to cleaner stormwater runoff.