Abstract

Stormwater retention ponds can play a critical role in mitigating the detrimental effects of urbanization on receiving waters that result from increases in polluted runoff. However, the benthic oxygen demand of stormwater facilities may cause significant hypoxia and trigger the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This process is not well-documented and further research is needed to characterize benthic processes in stormwater retention ponds in order to improve their design and operation. In this study, sediment oxygen demand (SOD), sediment ammonia release (SAR) and sediment sulfide production (SSP) kinetics were characterized in situ and in the laboratory. In situ SOD and SSP data were utilized to develop a stormwater retention pond water sulfide concentration model which demonstrates strong correlation with sulfide concentrations observed in situ (r = 0.724, N = 91, p < 0.001) and in laboratory experiments (r = 0.691, N = 38, p < 0.001). At 4 °C, in situ rates of SOD, SAR and SSP were higher than those measured in laboratory. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) represented 4.99% of the bacteria present in the top 30 cm of the pond sediment, with Desulfobulbaceae spp., Desulfobacteraceae spp. and Desulfococcus spp. being the dominant SRB taxa identified.

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