Concentrations of suspended sediment, particulate and dissolved organic carbon, trace elements, and organic compounds were measured in samples from the heads-of-tide of the five tributaries to the Newark and Raritan Bays during June 2000 to June 2003. The samples were collected as part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Toxics Reduction Workplan/Contaminant Assessment Reduction Program. Samples of streamwater were collected at water-quality sampling stations constructed near U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations on the Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Elizabeth Rivers. Sampling was conducted during base-flow conditions and storms. Constituent concentrations were measured to determine the water quality and to calculate the load of sediment and contaminants contributed to the bays from upstream sources.
Water samples were analyzed for suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, particulate organic carbon, and specific conductance. Samples of suspended sediment and water were analyzed for 98 distinct polychlorinated biphenyl congeners, 7 dioxins, 10 furans, 27 pesticides, 26 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and the trace elements cadmium, lead, mercury, and methyl-mercury. Measurements of ultra-low concentrations of organic compounds in sediment and water were obtained by collecting 1 to 3 grams of suspended sediment on glass fiber filters and by passing at least 20 liters of filtered water through XAD-2 resin. The extracted sediment and XAD-2 resin were analyzed for organic compounds by high- and low-resolution gas chromatography mass-spectrometry that uses isotope dilution procedures. Trace elements in filtered and unfiltered samples were analyzed for cadmium, lead, mercury, and methyl-mercury by inductively coupled charged plasma and mass-spectrometry.
All constituent concentrations are raw data. Interpretation of the data will be completed in the second phase of the study.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Organic Compounds, Trace Elements, Suspended Sediment, and Field Characteristics at the Heads-of-Tide of the Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Elizabeth Rivers, New Jersey, 2000-03