South Atlantic Water Science Center - North Carolina Office
Period of Project
USGS IN YOUR STATE
USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
Water quality characterization of bridge deck runoff in NC
This project was completed in 2012. These pages are for historical purposes only.
Bridge deck runoff collection system on US-64 bridge over Hiwassee River in Cherokee County, North Carolina.
There is evidence that bridge deck runoff has a relatively high loading of a variety of constituents such as nutrients, solids, pesticides, metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Information on the quality of bridge deck runoff in North Carolina is, however, lacking. Stormwater permits are designed to reduce nonpoint source loadings of anthropogenically derived constituents to surface waters. Permits for bridges in NC, however, must be based on data collected from studies which were conducted 10 – 20 years ago and in other parts of the U.S. As a result permit requirements for bridges in NC may be unnecessarily conservative or inadequate for protecting receiving water quality.
The primary objective of this investigation is to identify the loading of selected constituents in stormwater runoff from representative bridges across North Carolina. Working collaboratively, NCDOT, DWQ and USGS identified other study objectives which could provide information valuable in helping understand the effects of bridge deck runoff on receiving water quality and in managing stormwater runoff from bridges.