Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A pilot study to assess the influence of infiltrated stormwater on groundwater: Hydrology and trace organic contaminants

January 18, 2022

Underground infiltration basins (UIBs) mimic the natural hydrologic cycle by allowing stormwater to recharge local groundwater aquifers. However, little is known about the potential transport of organic contaminants to receiving groundwater. We conducted a pilot study in which we collected paired grab samples of stormwater runoff flowing into two UIBs (inflow) and shallow groundwater adjacent to the UIBs. Samples were collected coincident with three rain events and analyzed for volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. Few contaminants were detected in groundwater, compared with inflow, and groundwater concentrations were typically an order of magnitude less. With one exception (trichloroethene), all groundwater concentrations were at least two orders of magnitude below available guidance or screening values. This short communication highlights information gaps in understanding the hydrologic connectivity between UIBs and receiving groundwater and potential consequent contaminant transport to the subsurface from varying climatic conditions.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title A pilot study to assess the influence of infiltrated stormwater on groundwater: Hydrology and trace organic contaminants
DOI 10.1002/wer.10690
Authors Sarah M. Elliott, Richard L. Kiesling, Andrew M. Berg, Heiko L. Schoenfuss
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Environment Research
Series Number
Index ID 70228253
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Water Science Center