An assessment of the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff associated with industrial activities at Fort Gordon was conducted from January through August 2012. The assessment was provided to satisfy the requirements from a general permit that authorizes the discharge of stormwater under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System from a site associated with industrial activities. The stormwater quantity refers to the runoff discharge at the point and time of the runoff sampling. The study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Army Environmental and Natural Resources Management Office of the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon.
Stormwater runoff samples were collected from five stations at four industrial sites, including two landfills (SWR11–1 and SWR11–2) and three heating and cooling sites, SWR11–3, SWR11–4, and SWR11–5. The assessment included the collection of physical properties, such as water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and pH; the detection of suspended materials (total suspended solids, total fixed solids, and total volatile solids), nutrients and organic compounds, and major and trace inorganic compounds (metals); and for the three heating and cooling sites, the detection of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds.
Landfill site SWR11–2 had the greatest total suspended solid concentration (214 milligrams per liter) of all sites and exceeded the daily maximum effluent limit for landfills. Heating and cooling site SWR11–3 had the greatest total suspended solid concentration (169 milligrams per liter), total fixed solids (101 milligrams per liter), and total volatile solids (68 milligrams per liter) when compared to the three heating and cooling sites. Total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were 1.02 and 0.09, and 1.74 and 0.21 milligrams per liter, respectively, at landfill sites SWR11–1 and SWR11–2. At heating and cooling sites, total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.53 to 1.08 milligrams per liter and 0.07 to 0.1 milligram per liter, respectively, with the highest concentrations measured at site SWR11–3. Additionally, oil and grease concentrations at all sites were compared to applicable benchmark standards; no sample concentrations exceeded these standards.
The estimated dissolved concentrations of cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc, mercury, and silver, and the total recoverable concentrations of arsenic and selenium were compared to applicable benchmark levels and to acute and chronic effect aquatic-life criteria for further screening purposes. The estimated dissolved zinc concentration (105 micrograms per liter) at site SWR11–3 was the only constituent to exceed a benchmark standard (40 micrograms per liter). Estimated dissolved zinc concentrations at sites SWR11–4 and SWR11–5 exceeded acute and chronic effect aquatic-life criteria. Estimated dissolved concentrations of lead exceeded the chronic effect aquatic-life criteria at all sites and exceeded the acute effect criteria at site SWR11–3. Acute and chronic effect aquatic-life criteria for dissolved cadmium were exceeded at site SWR11–3.
Samples from sites SWR11–3, SWR11–4, and SWR11–5 were analyzed for 83 volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. Eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[ghi]perylene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, chrysene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, phenanthrene, and pyrene, were detected at all three sites. Of the 86 volatile and semivolatile organic compounds that were analyzed in stormwater samples from heating and cooling sites, 15 (18 percent) were detected at site SWR11–3, 12 (14 percent) were detected at site SWR11–4, and 17 (20 percent) were detected at site SWR11–5.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Quantity and quality of stormwater collected from selected stormwater outfalls at industrial sites, Fort Gordon, Georgia, 2012