• stormwater runoff;
  • sand pits;
  • urban water quality;
  • groundwater quality;
  • pesticides;
  • sediment quality;
  • alluvial aquifer;
  • Kansas

Whittemore, Donald O., 2012. Potential Impacts of Stormwater Runoff on Water Quality in Urban Sand Pits and Adjacent Groundwater. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(3): 584-602. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00637.x

Abstract:  Entrance of stormwater runoff into water-filled pits and adjacent aquifers is a contamination concern. The water and sediment quality in several sand pits and surrounding groundwater in Wichita, Kansas, were studied to comprehensively address stormwater runoff impact. The pits are used for residential development after sand and gravel mining. Water samples were analyzed for inorganic constituents, bacteria, and 252 organic compounds, and pit sediments for inorganic components and 32 organic chemicals. Although many pesticide and degradate compounds were found in the pit and well waters, none of these chemicals exceeded existing health levels. Other organic contaminants were detected in the waters, with those exceeding health levels at one site attributed to an undiscovered groundwater contamination plume and not to stormwater runoff. Persistent insecticides and polychlorinated biphenyls detected in sediment of two pits are related to the age of residential development. The concentration distributions of pesticides and other organics at most of the sites, as well as iron, manganese, and ammonia patterns in downgradient well waters relative to upgradient well and pit waters, indicate that groundwater quality at the sites is affected by contaminants entering the pit surface waters. Thus, although current stormwater runoff does not appear to have contaminated sand-pit water and adjacent groundwater above health levels, the data show that the potential exists if stormwater became polluted.