Among many other sources, suspended particular matter (SPM) is generated from fine construction waste and materials (like sand, clay, silt and crushed stones etc) due to sweeping, wind blowing, traffic flow and other mechanical disturbances at the constructions sites. Characterization of this SPM is essential due to its effects on ecology, environment and human health. But sophisticated and expensive equipment, trained manpower, costly resources and continuous supply of energy, which the countries like Pakistan lack, are required for characterization. Therefore, this study aims at developing regression-based statistical models to estimate physico-chemical characteristics of SPM only by determining the corresponding characteristics of fine inert material at any construction site. A total of 168 samples, 84 of the fine inert material and similar number of samples of SPM, were collected during a period of nine months from June 2013 to February 2014 from a construction site at Lahore, Pakistan. The parameters for characterization included pH, electrical conductivity and concentrations of trace metals (Al, Ca, Ni, Fe and Zn) and ions (SO42−, NO3− and Cl−) both in inert material and SPM. The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16. Results showed highly significant correlation and regression between all the parameters. Significance of correlation and regression and data normality test of dependent variables (characterization parameters of SPM) indicated that regression-based models can be used for prediction of physico-chemical characteristics of the SPM by using the physico-chemical characteristics of fine inert material at any other/new construction site. Linear regression models [Y = a + b (x)] were developed to estimate and predict physico-chemical characteristics of SPM (Y). The models were applied at new construction site and differences between actual and estimated values showed that the model equations can reliably be used for characterization of SPM only by determining the corresponding characteristics of fine inert material at any/new construction sites.

Khalid Iqbal, Muhammad Anwar Baig and Sher Jamal Khan