Ft. Gordon, Georgia, Stormwater Assessment

Science Center Objects

Fort Gordon is a U.S. Department of the Army facility located in east-central Georgia, approximately 10 miles west of Augusta, Georgia). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) South Atlantic Water Science Center is working cooperatively with the U.S. Department of the Army Environmental and Natural Resources Management Office of the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon to assess the quality of stormwater runoff associated with industrial activities at the Fort.

INTRODUCTION

Map of Georgia with Ft. Gordon study area.

fig. 2: Map of Georgia with study area.

 

Map of Ft. Gordon, Georgia.

Map of Fort Gordon

Fort Gordon is a U.S. Department of the Army facility located in east-central Georgia, approximately 10 miles west of Augusta, Georgia (figs. 1 and 2). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) South Atlantic Water Science Center is working cooperatively with the U.S. Department of the Army Environmental and Natural Resources Management Office of the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon to assess the quality of stormwater runoff associated with industrial activities at the Fort. This on-going assessment, which is renewed annually, is being conducted to assist the Fort in satisfying the requirements of a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit that authorizes the discharge of stormwater from a site associated with industrial activities (Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2012). Thirteen sites are sampled once annually. These sites are classified by industrial activity according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources (2012) criteria and include 6 landfill sites (L Sector), 2 Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) sites, 1 Recycling Center site, 1 Storage Tank Disposal Yard site (N Sector), and 3 heating and cooling sites (O Sector) (fig. 3).

APPROACH

All stormwater samples are collected and processed using standard USGS and Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GaDNR) field procedures (U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated; Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2012). The GaDNR NPDES permit criteria for stormwater sampling requires that each storm produce at least 0.1 inch (in.) of rain 72 hours after the last measurable (more than 0.1 in.) rain event. Precipitation amounts are measured by nonrecording gages. Field measurements of pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and water temperature are measured at the time of sampling using a calibrated multi-parameter water-quality sonde.

N Sector, Recycling Center

N Sector, Recycling Center

The GaDNR field procedures stipulate that the stormwater samples be collected as grab samples during the first 30 minutes of storm runoff. During the first 30 minutes of runoff, stormwater to be analyzed for oil and grease and semi-volatile organic compounds is collected directly into individual laboratory-prepared bottles by submersing the sample bottles into the center of the runoff, taking care not to disturb any sediment. Additionally, about 4 liters (L) of water are collected from the center of the stormwater runoff into pre-cleaned plastic bottles. This water is placed into an 8-L plastic churn for compositing for analysis for total suspended solids, total and dissolved metals, oxygen demand, and nutrients. Appropriate preservation methods are applied to the processed samples and shipped overnight to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) and contract laboratory. Samples are analyzed for selected constituents specified by facility type by the appropriate laboratory (Table 1) (Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2012).

 

Ft. Gordon, Ga. study map showing 5 sampled sites - SWR 11-1 to 11-5

fig. 3: Ft. Gordon study sites

Laboratory results from the NWQL and NWQL contract laboratory are entered into the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database for storage and archival purposes. Data are retrieved from the NWIS database and reviewed for completeness and accuracy. Reviewed data are summarized in a spreadsheet. Once approved for transmittal, the spreadsheet is sent to the appropriate personnel at Fort Gordon.

► Data table: Summary of field measurements and consituents analyazed

L Sector, 17th Street Landfill. Ft. Gordon, Ga study.

L Sector, 17th Street Landfill

Before the study was expanded in August 2013, the USGS collected data at five sites (fig. 3, Sites Surface Water (SWR)11-1 through SWR11-5). These data-collection efforts were documented in USGS Open-File Reports (OFR), and links to these reports are provided below:

  • Quantity and quality of stormwater collected from selected stormwater outfalls at industrial sites, Fort Gordon, Georgia, 2011
    Open-File Report 2012-1035
  • Quantity and quality of stormwater collected from selected stormwater outfalls at industrial sites, Fort Gordon, Georgia, 2012
    Open-File Report 2013-1140

 

References

Sampling site for site 310, Ft. Gordon runoff project.

Ft. Gordon, Georgia, Stormwater AssessmentO Sector, Sampling location for Heating & Coolingsite 310 (SWR11-3)

Summary of field measurements and constituents analyzed

Samples are analyzed for selected constituents specified by facility type by the appropriate laboratory.

Measurement or ConstituentUnitsL sector sitesO sector sitesN sector sitesAnalyzing Agency
Quantity of raininchesXXXUSGS Field
Duration of storm eventhoursXXXUSGS Field
Sample quantitygallonsXXXUSGS Field
Temperaturedegrees CelsiusXXXUSGS Field
Specific conductancemicrosiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees CelciusXXXUSGS Field
Dissolved oxygenmilligrams per literXXXUSGS Field
pHstandard unitsXXXUSGS Field
Biochemical oxygen demandmilligrams per literX----NWQL
Total suspended solidsmilligrams per literXX--NWQL
Ammoniamilligrams per literX----NWQL
Alpha Terpineolmilligrams per literX----NWQL
Benzoic Acidmilligrams per literX----NWQL
p-Cresolmilligrams per literX----NWQL
Phenolmilligrams per literX----NWQL
Total Zincmilligrams per literX----NWQL
Chemical oxygen demandmilligrams per liter--X--NWQL
Oil and greasemilligrams per liter--XXNWQL contract lab
Dissolved coppermilligrams per liter--XXNWQL
Dissolved leadmilligrams per liter--X--NWQL
Dissolved nickelmilligrams per liter----XNWQL
Dissolved zincmilligrams per liter--XXNWQL