June 19, 2020

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Brandon Steets, Megan Otto and Jared Ervin Coauthored a Paper on Metals in Stormwater in the Journal Science of the Total Environment

Brandon Steets, P.E., Megan Otto, P.E., and Jared Ervin, Ph.D. (California) coauthored a paper entitled "Assessing Sediment Recontamination from Metals in Stormwater" that was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment in Volume 737 on May 2020.

Coauthors for the article were Ilektra Drygiannaki; Balaji Rao; John A Dawson; Magdalena Rakowska; Danny D Reible; Nicholas T Hayman; Gunther H Rosen; Marienne A Colvin; Bart D Chadwick; and Robert Pitt.

Brandon Steets is a Senior Principal Engineer based in California with more than 19 years of experience specializing in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulations, water quality modelling and monitoring, pollutant source investigation, and stormwater best management practices (BMP) planning and design.

Megan Otto is a Senior Engineer based in California with more than 10 years of experience focused on stormwater engineering feasibility studies, municipal and industrial NPDES permit support, surface water management and monitoring, and litigation support.

Jared Ervin is a Senior Professional based in California focused on pollutant source tracking, surface and groundwater quality, advanced forensic tools, and environmental microbiology.

Science of the Total Environment is an international multi-disciplinary journal for publication of novel, hypothesis-driven and high-impact research on the total environment, which interfaces the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and anthroposphere.


Recontamination of sediments by stormwater is a major concern when evaluating the potential effectiveness of sediment remediation. Stormwater and sediment sampling were conducted in a mixed-use watershed at Paleta Creek in San Diego, CA to evaluate methods for assessing sediment recontamination by metals. Size-segregated stormwater contaminant loads with simultaneous receiving water and sediment measurements were used to identify dominant sources and contaminants with respect to their impact on sediment recontamination. Most of the stormwater contaminant loads of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were associated with residential and highway sources from the upstream portions of the watershed and As, Ni and Hg were more significantly influenced by the downstream area of the watershed. Cd was strongly associated with large particles and observed to settle in near shore areas with some attenuation due to mixing and dilution. Cu, in contrast, was associated more with the filtered fraction (<0.45μm) and clay fraction (0.45-5μm), resulting in less near shore sediment recontamination. Depositing sediment and other metals, particularly Cu and Hg, exhibited greater accumulation in settling traps than could be attributed to stormwater loads indicating the importance of other sources or resuspension of bay sediments on surficial sediment concentrations. Pb, Zn, Ni, and As showed influences of both stormwater and other sources. The study showed that measurement of size-segregated stormwater contaminant mass and concentrations combined with simultaneous measurements of deposition in sediment traps could differentiate between recontamination by stormwater and that of other sources.

More Information

Learn more about the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720332460
Learn more about the journal: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/science-of-the-total-environment
For consultation regarding stormwater, contact Brandon Steets at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Brandon Steets: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/brandon-steets
Learn more ab out Megan Otto: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meganotto/
Learn more about Jared Ervin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jared-ervin-b648aa75/