Elemental Concentrations in Urban Green Stormwater Infrastructure Soils
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Journal of Environment Quality. 45(1): 107-118. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.10.0421
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is designed to capture stormwater for infiltration, detention, evapotranspiration, or reuse. Soils play a key role in stormwater interception at these facilities. It is important to assess whether contamination is occurring in GSI soils because urban stormwater drainage areas often accumulate elements of concern. Soil contamination could affect hydrologic and ecosystem functions. Maintenance workers and the public may also be exposed to GSI soils. We investigated soil elemental concentrations, categorized as macro- and micronutrients, heavy metals, and other elements, at 59 GSI sites in the city of Philadelphia. Non-GSI soil samples 3 to 5 m upland of GSI sites were used for comparison. We evaluated differences in elemental composition in GSI and non-GSI soils; the comparisons were corrected for the age of GSI facility, underlying soil type, street drainage, and surrounding land use. Concentrations of Ca and I were greater than background levels at GSI sites. Although GSI facilities appear to accumulate Ca and I, these elements do not pose a significant human health risk. Elements of concern to human health, including Cd, Hg, and Pb, were either no different or were lower in GSI soils compared with non-GSI soils. However, mean values found across GSI sites were up to four times greater than soil cleanup objectives for residential use.
Kondo, Michelle C.; Sharma, Raghav; Plante, Alain F.; Yang, Yunwen; Burstyn, Igor. 2016. Elemental Concentrations in Urban Green Stormwater Infrastructure Soils. Journal of Environment Quality. 45(1): 107-118. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.10.0421