Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Mark Ross

Co-Major Professor

Thomas Mason

Committee Member

Mark Amen

Committee Member

William Carpenter

Committee Member

Lisa Robbins

Keywords

water resources, risks, roofing material, water quality, metals

Abstract

Water is the essential resource that is becoming extremely scarce worldwide. The 21st century will further stress all available water resources through the growth and expansion of developing nations. It is not only the quantity of cheap water that is being depleted, but the quality of these waters is being endangered. Florida is an example where rapid development and an exploding population are competing for shrinking groundwater resources. Current water use does not address the use of alternative supplies and reuses in the United States.

The objective of this research was to determine a strategy for augmenting existing water supplies with alternative sources that could be developed economically. Having reviewed numerous alternative sources, it was determined that runoff from roofs potentially provides a source that might meet the augmentation requirement for a small community of a population of 30,000 or less.

This research has shown that the quality of water collected from five different roof surfaces meets the drinking water standards and will not degrade the current quality of the main source of water supply. This work not only required the collection of hydrological data from the roof systems, but chemically and biological analyzes samples for contaminants. Since rainfall events vary periodically and in duration, 100,000 meteorological events were analyzed for wind speed, relative humidity, rainfall intensity, and the rainwater runoff across five roofing surfaces to analyze variables that contribute to the effects on the water quality of the source. The model establishes the economics and the public health value of this water. The research assesses the local regulatory aspects of using the water with the outcome of a working objective and rational decision matrix that will permit agencies to select an optimal and safe utilization of the water sources.

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