Distribution, Toxic Potential, and Influence of Land Use on Conventional and Emerging Contaminants in Urban Stormwater Pond Sediments.


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4194, USA. [Email]


This study examined the distribution and toxic potential of conventional and emerging contaminants in composite sediment samples from 15 stormwater ponds in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN metropolitan area. Previously, coal tar-based sealants were shown to be a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to these ponds, and concentrations of carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) equivalents were influencing management options about pond maintenance. For the second component of this study, a complex mixture of 13 metal(loid)s, 4-nonylphenols, 8 brominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs), and total polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were detected in all surficial samples. Contaminants with detection frequencies ≥ 20% included: silver (46.7%), beryllium (20.0%), chloride (60.0%), bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (60.0%), 10 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs; 26.7-80.0%), 4-nonylphenol monoethoxylate (66.7%), 4-nonylphenol diethoxylate (40.0%), bifenthrin (20.0%), total permethrins (33.3%), and 24 other BDE congener groups (20.0-93.3%). Five stormwater ponds had contaminants exceeding benchmarks likely to be associated with harmful effects to benthic organisms. Ponds with watersheds dominated by either commercial and/or industrial land uses had significantly higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of zinc, 4-nonylphenol, six BDEs (28 + 33, 47, 99, 100, 154, and 209), and total PBDEs than those dominated by residential land uses. Multivariate statistical analyses verified that updated B[a]P equivalents were an effective chemical proxy for making management decisions about excavated pond sediment. Jurisdictions that do not test their stormwater pond sediments prior to maintenance dredging should consider the environmental ramifications of applying this potentially contaminated material to land.