Characterizing Transportation Impacts on Urban Water Quality with High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Stormwater runoff has long been known to significantly degrade urban water quality, with many documented adverse impacts on aquatic organisms. Here, using salmonid health in the Pacific Northwest as a unifying example, we applied high resolution mass spectrometry to characterize organic contaminants in urban stormwater, roadway runoff, and receiving waters. Chemical composition in such systems was characterized by many new "emerging" contaminants derived from humans and vehicles, with tire rubbers being a notable source of lightly studied chemical contaminants to roadway runoff and receiving waters. These data indicate that management of urban receiving waters needs to consider these pervasive stormwater-derived contaminants as major stressors of water quality and ecological health.