Stormwater wetlands are created to contain runoff from human developments and are designed to retain contaminants such as heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, silt, pesticides, and nutrients before the runoff enter natural waterways. Because of this design, stormwater wetlands have a potential of becoming toxic sinks to organisms utilizing the wetlands for habitat. We conducted a 10-day sediment bioassay on Hyallela azteca as part of a larger study on the possible hazards of stormwater wetlands to aquatic invertebrates. Water and sediments from 10 wetlands separated into reference, residential, commercial, and highway land uses were used. No differences in survival were observed among land use categories, possibly because the ratio of acid volatile sulfides/simultaneously extractable metals (AVS/SEM) was > 1.0 for all of the ponds tested; values > 1 in this ratio are indications that toxic metals may not be bioavailable. Survival and growth rates correlated positively with AVS.
Additional Publication Details
Toxicity of stormwater treatment pond sediments to Hyallela azteca (Amphipoda)
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology