New Jersey Water Science Center
Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.
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Raccoon Creek Arsenic
Project Title: Raccoon Creek Arsenic
An assessment of the contributions of arsenic, metals, and nutrients in stormwater runoff is proposed to be undertaken by sampling along a transect from newly developed former orchard land above an infiltration basin to Raccoon Creek in an area underlain by glauconitic marine sediments. The objectives of the proposed study are (1) to determine arsenic and metals levels in soils bordering the Raccoon Creek channel, in particular those developed on the marine sediment substrate and those upgradient in a former or existing orchard area; (2) determine levels of arsenic, metals, and nutrients in runoff from a storm drain, in subsurface stormwater runoff to the stream, and in water collected in an infiltration basin, (3) compare levels of arsenic, metals and nutrients to those in ground water discharging to the stream and to streamwater, and (4) determine whether there’s evidence that arsenic contributed by runoff is mobilized from the infiltration basin with potential to affect ground water.
Statement of Problem
Arsenic concentrations in the waters of Raccoon Creek commonly exceed the New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standard (SWQS) of 0.017 & #61549;g/L. It is currently not known how much of the arsenic measured in streamwater and in bed sediments is contributed by stormwater runoff. Runoff also can contribute trace metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc, and nutrients to streams; these contaminants typically are largely of anthropogenic origin. Stormwatermanagement practices are designed to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic contaminants in runoff on the quality of streamwater. For management practices to be effective, some measure of the contaminants present in runoff, particularly in areas where structures such as storm drains and infiltration basins have been installed to contain or sequester contaminants, is needed.
Strategy and Approach
A transect from former orchard land above an infiltration basin to the Creek would be established in an area underlain by glauconitic marine sediments. This transect would be instrumented for the collection of runoff, porewaters, shallow and deep ground water, the stream, and soils.