Stormwater runoff from roadways and other surfaces often contain particles contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which eventually settle to the bottom of stormwater detention ponds. Due to known health and environmental hazards, PAHs are a regulated toxic substance. As ponds age and dredging is necessary, this material presents a challenge for disposal.
Researchers will identify the major sources of PAH contamination to stormwater detention pond sediments around the state of Minnesota. Sediment samples will be taken from about 20 ponds at various sites and will be analyzed for 32 different PAH compounds. The team will also conduct some preliminary analysis of methods to treat sediments, such as composting and aerobic biodegradation.