Chemical characterization and toxicity of bridge deck runoff and impacts to receiving water quality

Lauren M. Swadener, Mohammad Haft Javeherian, Elizabeth G. Jones, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this study, the chemical and microbiological characteristics of bridge deck runoff were evaluated at four bridge locations in the state of Nebraska. These bridges represent a range of annual average daily traffic (AADT) and receiving stream characteristics. In addition to runoff sampling, dry weather water quality and sediment quality was evaluated to determine if bridges influence dry weather water quality. Bridge deck runoff was determined to be not toxic using a 48-h acute toxicity assay with fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). The results determined no significant differences in water and sediment quality upstream and downstream of the bridge at each of the four locations, indicating that bridges do not influence the receiving water quality or sediment during dry weather. The bridge deck runoff was found to contain a number of chemical constituents, and metals and nutrients were detected most frequently. The quality of bridge deck runoff was determined to be similar to that of roadway runoff, and no relationship between the contaminant concentrations and AADT or antecedent dry period (ADP) could be determined in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04014010
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Bridge
  • Metals
  • Nutrients
  • Stormwater runoff
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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