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Contaminated Sediments


Contaminated Sediments

Sediment throughout the Rouge River has been sampled for environmental contamination. These sediments could be contaminated with such pollutants as metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The 2003 Rouge River Remedial Action Revision (RAP) provides information on contaminated sediments in the Rouge River. The RAP states, "Sediment becomes contaminated when certain persistent pollutants, such as metals or PCBs, and other organic chemicals are released into the environment. These pollutants adhere to suspended sediment particles and eventually settle to the bottom of the river. Contaminated sediments can degrade water quality and cause direct toxic effects to organisms. While previous editions of the RAP overestimated the extent and magnitude of contaminated sediments, they are still a problem in the lower few miles of the river." RAP, page 56.

"The remaining known major deposits of contaminated sediments are in the lower few miles of the river, adjacent to the navigation channel downstream of the channelized concrete-lined portion of the Main Branch. These sediments contain high concentrations of PCBs, PAHs, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), dioxins and furans, and the endocrine disruption chemical nonylphenol. They are suspected to be contaminated by metals. Sediments in the concrete channel also exert a significant SOD (sediment oxygen demand), often resulting in low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the summer. SOD in this part of the river is primarily due to microbrial (microbial) decomposition of human wastes originating from CSO and SSO discharges." RAP, p. 57

"Subsequent sampling of game fish in 2003 by MDEQ has lifted the PCB fish consumption ban for the general public on carp, channel catfish and largemouth bass cought (caught) in Newburgh Lake." RAP, p. 57

A presentation titled Restoration of an Urban Lake: The Newburgh Lake Project was given discussing the successful restoration of Newburgh Lake in the Rouge River Watershed. related to contaminated sediments in the Rouge River include:

There are several technical reports and memos with information on the Rouge River website related to sediments.

In addition, MDEQ has information on their website on sediments at; www.michigan.gov/deq

See how the United States Environmental Protection Agency ranks the concern of contaminated sediment throughout the United States at:
Contaminated Sediments

Last Updated: 6/21/2004

Please address all comments and suggestions about the contents of this Web page to rougeweb@co.wayne.mi.us.

The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -07 and C-264000-01.