Science Inventory

USING THE SEDIMENT QUALITY TRIAD (SQT) APPROACH TO ASSESS SEDIMENTARY CONTAMINATION IN THE ANACOSTIA RIVER, WASHINGTON

Citation:

Velinsky, D. J., F. Pinkney, J. Ashley, B. L. McGee, AND T J. NorbergKing. USING THE SEDIMENT QUALITY TRIAD (SQT) APPROACH TO ASSESS SEDIMENTARY CONTAMINATION IN THE ANACOSTIA RIVER, WASHINGTON. Presented at 2002 SETAC Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, November 16-20, 2002.

Description:

Using the Sediment Quality Triad (SQT) Approach to Assess Sedimentary Contamination in the Anacostia River, Washington, D.C. Velinsky, DJ*1, Ashley, JTF1,2, Pinkney, F.3, McGee, BL3 and Norberg-King, TJ.4 1Academy of Natural Sciences-PCER, Philadelphia, PA. 2Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA. 3U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Annapolis, MD. 4 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, MN. The tidal Anacostia River is one of Chesapeake Bay's "Regions of Concern" due elevated levels of numerous contaminants in various media. The goal of this project was to provide the first comprehensive spatial mapping (128 stations) of the surficial sediment-bound contaminants and to address risk management issues. The "sediment quality triad" (SQT) approach was conducted at a subset (n=20) locations. Surface sediment samples were collected in the tidal Anacostia and Potomac Rivers in 2001. Samples were analyzed for specific trace metals, congener-specific PCBs, alkylated and non-alkylated PAHs, and specific organochlorine pesticides (e.g., DDXs, chlordane). In general, there was a correlation between the concentrations of sedimentary trace metals and the suite of organic contaminants, revealing specific areas of concern within the river. Elevated concentrations of Pb, Cd, Hg, PAHs, and PCBs were observed in many areas, such as near storm and combined sewer outfalls. There was a general increase in concentration of many chemicals downriver, and metal enrichment factors suggest that anthropogenic inputs from the upper watershed are the dominant source with very local inputs in the downstream section. Ten day sediment toxicity tests using the amphipod, H. azteca and the midge, C. tentans, indicated growth effects at only one location in the lower river. Results of a whole-sediment TIE on these sediments suggested that organic compounds contributed to the observed toxicity. Application of the Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity for tidal freshwater areas in Chesapeake Bay indicated approximately 30% of the sites had degraded benthic communities. The types and concentrations of sediment-bound contaminants in the Anacostia does not appear to result in acute toxicity but longer term impacts to community structure and bioaccumulation to higher trophic groups are evident.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 11/16/2002
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 62350

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION

TOXIC EFFECTS CHARACTERIZATION RESEARCH