Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination in stormwater detention pond sediments in coastal South Carolina
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in the sediments of stormwater detention ponds in coastal South Carolina. Levels of the sum of PAH analytes were significantly higher in the sediments of commercial ponds compared to that of reference, golf course, low-density residential, and high-density residential ponds. Isomer ratio analysis suggested that the predominant source of PAHs were pyrogenic; however, many ponds had a PAH signature consistent with mixed uncombusted and combusted PAH sources. PAH levels in these sediments could be modeled using both pond drainage area and pond surface area. These results demonstrate that the sediment from most commercial ponds, and a few residential and golf course ponds, were moderately contaminated with PAHs. PAH levels in these contaminated ponds exceeded between 42% and 75% of the ecological screening values for individual PAH analytes established by US EPA Region IV, suggesting that they may pose a toxicological risk to wildlife.
KeywordsSediment PAH Detention ponds Contaminants
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