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Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5199

Prepared in cooperation with the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish

Water-Quality Characteristics of Urban Storm Runoff at Selected Sites in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, February 2006 through November 2009

By C. Paul Frederick

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (908 kB)Abstract

Water samples were collected at three watersheds in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, during February 2006 through November 2009 for continued evaluation of urban storm runoff. The watersheds represented land uses characterized predominantly as established commercial, industrial, and residential. The following water-quality data are reported: physical and chemical-related properties, fecal coliform, nutrients, trace elements, and organic compounds. Results of water-quality analyses enabled calculation of event-mean concentrations and estimated annual contaminant loads and yields of storm runoff from nonpoint sources for 12 water-quality properties and constituents.

Lead met or exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Maximum Contaminant Level of 15 micrograms per liter for drinking water standards in 4 of 14 samples. Low level concentrations of mercury were detected in all 14 samples, and half were two to four times above the reporting limit of 0.02 micrograms per liter. The average dissolved phosphorus concentrations from each land use were two to four times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criterion of 0.05 milligrams per liter. Diazinon was detected in one sample at a concentration of 0.2 micrograms per liter.

In the residential watershed, the largest at 216 acres, contaminant loads for 5 of the 12 water-quality properties and constituents were highest, with 4 of these being nutrients. The industrial watershed, 97 acres, had the highest contaminant loads for 6 of the 12 water-quality properties and constituents with 3 of these being metals, which is indicative of the type of land use. Zinc had the highest metal load (155 pounds per year) in the industrial watershed, compared to 36 pounds per year in the residential watershed, and 32 pounds per year in the established commercial watershed.

The industrial watershed had the highest yields for 8 of the 12 water-quality properties and constituents, whereas the established commercial watershed had the lowest yield for 5 of the 12. Lower yields from the established commercial and residential watersheds could be from Best Management Practices in place that help control increased runoff from impervious areas and land development. Metal yields from all the watersheds were less than 1 pound per acre per year, except for the zinc from the industrial watershed, which was 2 pounds per acre per year. Nutrient yields in the established commercial watershed were lowest for total nitrogen, ammonia plus organic nitrogen (Kjeldahl nitrogen), and dissolved phosphorus.

Revised December 12, 2011

First posted November 14, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Louisiana Water Science Center
3535 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Suite 120
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

http://la.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Frederick, C.P., 2011, Water-quality characteristics of urban storm runoff at selected sites in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, February 2006 through November 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5199, 17 p. Revised December 2011.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Methods of Study

Watershed Characteristics and Site Description

Water-Quality Characteristics of Urban Storm Runoff

Analysis of Quality-Control Data

Summary

Selected References

Appendixes


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