Open-File Report 2004-1208

Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Major and Trace Elements in Simulated Rainfall Runoff From Parking Lots, Austin, Texas, 2003

By Barbara J. Mahler, Peter C. Van Metre, and Jennifer T. Wilson

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 20041208 version 3ONLINE ONLY

In cooperation with the City of Austin


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pdf version 3 (646 KB)

tables 1-5 (3.37 MB)

Errata sheet (83.7 KB)

The Press Release: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1642

The Inquiry

The Response: http://tx.usgs.gov/Response.pdf


Abstract

Samples of creek bed sediment collected near seal-coated parking lots in Austin, Texas, by the City of Austin during 2001–02 had unusually elevated concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). To investigate the possibility that PAHs from seal-coated parking lots might be transported to urban creeks, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Austin, sampled runoff and scrapings from four test plots and 13 urban parking lots. The surfaces sampled comprise coal-tar-emulsion-sealed, asphalt-emulsion-sealed, unsealed asphalt, and unsealed concrete. Particulates and filtered water in runoff and surface scrapings were analyzed for PAHs. In addition, particulates in runoff were analyzed for major and trace elements. Samples of all three media from coal-tar-sealed parking lots had concentrations of PAHs higher than those from any other types of surface. The mean total PAH concentration in particulates in runoff from parking lots in use were 3,500,000, 620,000, and 54,000 micrograms per kilogram from coal-tar-sealed, asphalt-sealed, and unsealed (asphalt and concrete combined) lots, respectively. The probable effect concentration sediment quality guideline is 22,800 micrograms per kilogram. The mean total PAH (sum of detected PAHs) concentration in filtered water from parking lots in use was 8.6 micrograms per liter for coal-tar-sealed lots; the one sample analyzed from an asphalt-sealed lot had a concentration of 5.1 micrograms per liter and the one sample analyzed from an unsealed asphalt lot was 0.24 microgram per liter. The mean total PAH concentration in scrapings was 23,000,000, 820,000, and 14,000 micrograms per kilogram from coal-tar-sealed, asphalt-sealed, and unsealed asphalt lots, respectively. Concentrations of lead and zinc in particulates in runoff frequently exceeded the probable effect concentrations, but trace element concentrations showed no consistent variation with parking lot surface type.


Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Site Selection

Sample-Collection Methods

Analytical Methods

PAHs in the Particulate Phase

PAHs in the Dissolved Phase

Major and Trace Elements in the Particulate Phase

Quality-Control Samples

PAHs and Major and Trace Elements in Simulated Rainfall Runoff

PAHs

Runoff From Test Plots

Runoff From Parking Lots in Use

Scrapings

Major and Trace Elements (Metals)

Runoff From Test Plots

Runoff From Parking Lots in Use

References Cited

Figures

1. 

Map showing location of parking lots for sampling of simulated runoff, Austin, Texas, 2003.

27. 

Graphs showing:

 

2. 

Rainfall for the sampling period as recorded at the National Weather Service Austin Camp Mabry station and dates washoff samples collected.

 

3. 

Concentrations of total particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHpart) in washoff samples from four test plots in Austin, Texas, 2003.

 

4. 

Concentrations of total dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHdiss) in washoff samples from four test plots in Austin, Texas, 2003.

 

5. 

Concentrations of total particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHpart) in washoff samples from test plots and parking lots in use, Austin, Texas, 2003.

 

6. 

Concentrations of total dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHdiss) in washoff samples from test plots and parking lots in use, Austin, Texas, 2003.

 

7. 

Concentrations of total particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHpart) in scrapings samples from test plot and parking lot surfaces in Austin, Texas, 2003.

Tables

1.   Selected characteristics of sites for sampling simulated rainfall runoff from parking lots, Austin, Texas, 2003.
2.   Particulate-phase concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in washoff and scrapings samples from parking lots, Austin, Texas, 2003.
3.   Dissolved-phase concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in washoff samples from parking lots, Austin, Texas, 2003.
4.   Particulate-phase concentrations of major and trace elements in washoff samples from parking lots, Austin, Texas, 2003.
5.   Suspended sediment concentrations in washoff samples from parking lots, Austin, Texas, 2003.

 



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