Sources of petroleum hydrocarbons in urban runoff

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Date of Original Version



In an effort to provide a better understanding of the sources of petroleum hydrocarbons in urban runoff, petroleum products as well as probable source materials were analyzed for hydrocarbons and trace metals and then compared to urban runoff samples from four different land use areas. The petroleum products considered were No. 2 and No. 6 fuel oils, used and virgin crankcase oils, and gasoline. Source materials included street dust, roadside soil, roadside vegetation, and atmospheric fallout; and the land use categories were commercial, residential, interstate highway, and industrial areas. The samples were compared on the basis of hydrocarbon (saturated and aromatic) and trace metal (Cd, Pb, Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn) loadings and distributions. Results indicated that the hydrocarbon content in runoff at all four land use sites originated primarily from used crankcase oil, with a small amount of No. 2 fuel oil detected at the industrial site. Only a small portion of the crankcase oil component came from the sources surveyed, and the majority of this oil probably came from: (1) oil drops within the driving lanes on the road surfaces or deposits in parking areas, and/or (2) direct dumping of waste crankcase oil down storm drains. © 1990 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution