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Comparison of wastewater-associated contaminants in the bed sediment of Hempstead Bay, New York, before and after Hurricane Sandy

June 30, 2016

Changes in bed sediment chemistry of Hempstead Bay (HB) have been evaluated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in the release of billions of liters of poorly-treated sewage into tributaries and channels throughout the bay. Surficial grab samples (top 5 cm) collected before and (or) after Hurricane Sandy from sixteen sites in HB were analyzed for 74 wastewater tracers and steroid hormones, and total organic carbon. Data from pre- and post-storm comparisons of the most frequently detected wastewater tracers and ratios of steroid hormone and of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations indicate an increased sewage signal near outfalls and downstream of where raw sewage was discharged. Median concentration of wastewater tracers decreased after the storm at sites further from outfalls. Overall, changes in sediment quality probably resulted from a combination of additional sewage inputs, sediment redistribution, and stormwater runoff in the days to weeks following Hurricane Sandy.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Comparison of wastewater-associated contaminants in the bed sediment of Hempstead Bay, New York, before and after Hurricane Sandy
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.03.044
Authors Shawn C. Fisher, Patrick J. Phillips, Bruce J. Brownawell, James Browne
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Pollution Bulletin
Series Number
Index ID 70174453
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center

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