November 3, 2023

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Brandon Steets and Megan Otto Coauthored “Sediment Recontamination Potential and Biological Impacts of Hydrophobic Organics from Stormwater in a Mixed-Use Watershed” in the Journal Science of the Total Environment

Brandon Steets, PE, QISP, ToR, and Megan Otto, PE, QSP/QSD, (California) coauthored “Sediment Recontamination Potential and Biological Impacts of Hydrophobic Organics from Stormwater in a Mixed-Use Watershed” in the January 2024 issue of Science of the Total Environment.

Brandon and Megan’s coauthors were Tariq Hussain, Dimitrios Athanasiou, Balaji Rao, Michelle Bejar, Magdalena Rakowska, Ilektra Drygiannaki, D. Bart Chadwick, Marienne A. Colvin, Nickolas T. Hayman, Gunther H. Rosen, Robert Pitt, and Danny D. Reible.

Brandon is a Senior Principal Engineer with more than 22 years of experience focused on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and total maximum daily load (TMDL) regulations, pollutant source investigation, watershed water quality modeling, and green infrastructure design.

Megan Otto is a Senior Engineer with more than 14 years of experience in green infrastructure planning, stormwater engineering feasibility studies, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, municipal and industrial NPDES permit support, stormwater and urban runoff monitoring and reporting, watershed planning, and litigation support.

Science of the Total Environment is an international multidisciplinary natural science journal that publishes novel, hypothesis-driven, and high-impact research on the total environment, including the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and anthroposphere.

Abstract

This study focused on understanding the influence of stormwater on sediment recontamination and biota bioaccumulation. Stormwater and sediment sampling were conducted at Paleta Creek San Diego, California, a mixed-use urban watershed. Stormwater samples were size fractioned into clay, silt, sand, and filtered fractions to better understand the association of PAHs and PCBs with different particle sizes. Settling traps were deployed during storm seasons to capture solid particles deposited by stormwater. Bioaccumulation studies of the receiving water sediments were conducted on bent-nosed clams (Macoma nasuta) both in situ and ex situ. The results indicated that the majority of PAHs and PCBs were discharged during the early stages of the storm and were primarily associated with coarser particles (>20 μm). Sediment near the discharge exhibited higher levels of contaminants, consistent with the findings from the settling traps and stormwater discharges. Ex situ bioaccumulation studies demonstrated that sediment contamination did not correlate with bioaccumulation in Macoma nasuta, whereas porewater accurately reflected bioaccumulation trends. This study highlights the importance of considering stormwater discharge patterns and particle sizes when assessing sediment recontamination but also that the resulting bulk sediment contamination may not reflect bioavailability as measured by organism bioaccumulation. These insights contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of stormwater runoff on sediment and biota in Southern California coastal watersheds and can be used to help develop effective management strategies.

More Information

Learn more about the article: Sediment recontamination potential and biological impacts of hydrophobic organics from stormwater in a mixed-use watershed - ScienceDirect
Learn more about the journal: STOTEN | Science of The Total Environment | Journal | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier
For consultation regarding stormwater, contact Brandon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Brandon at Brandon Steets (geosyntec.com) and Megan at Megan Otto | LinkedIn