Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011DC129B

Pollution Source Identification in Washington DC storm-water using Bayesian Chemical

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $14,983 Total Non-Federal Funds: $49,525

Principal Investigators: Arash Massoudieh, Ali Arab, Tolessa Deksissa

Abstract: To prioritize the reduction of pollutions and nutrients in the stormwater and also in order to determine the most effective approaches in the reduction of the pollutants entering streams as a result of stormwater discharge, it is important to identify the major contributors of specific pollutants in the stormwater. Particularly in highly urbanized areas this is an important and at the same time a challenging task due to the large number of potential contributors to stormwater pollution. The goal of the proposed research is to identify the source pollutants and nutrients at a few street stormwater discharge points into the Rock Creek stream using a Bayesian chemical mass balance method. This is to test/demonstrate the ability of the method in finding the sources of contaminants with an acceptable confidence. For this purpose the potential traffic and non-traffic related sources (e.g. street dust, dry and wet deposition, fuel, trash, motor oil, soil, vegetation, particles released from pavement weathering, runoff from roofs and construction sites) will be identified and multiple samples of each will be collected. The elemental profiles of the source samples and the discharged water will be analyzed using mass spectrometry technique. Then, the Bayesian CMB method (Massoudieh et. al, submitted) will be utilized to infer the contribution of various sources into the stormwater runoff. The findings will be used to write a proposal to EPA or NSF proposing to apply the method at a larger scale by applying it to a larger number of discharge points in the city of Washington to the stormwater being released into the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.