Stormwater and Green Infrastructure

Science Center Objects

The Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater Laboratory (RBPGL) is conducting research aimed at understanding the complexity of chemical mixtures in urban stormwater.

The RBPGL is participated in a multiagency study of chemicals in urban stormwater, sampled from pipes or ditches during runoff events sites in multiple states across the United States, demonstrated that stormwater runoff contains complex mixtures of chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals that are indicative of multiple sources in the watershed. Study results indicate that stormwater transports complex mixtures of organic and inorganic chemicals that are associated with different watershed sources. This national-scale reconnaissance study provided a comprehensive assessment of urban stormwater mixed contaminant profiles that can be useful as a baseline to indicate the chemicals to which wildlife could be exposed in surface waters receiving stormwater runoff. The baseline data are useful to understand chemicals that may enter groundwater through infiltration from stormwater ponds and is especially important to understanding which contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in urban stormwater runoff might be infiltrated into the subsurface by green infrastructure projects.