OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Miscellaneous Urban Activities

Urban Runoff

Urban Runoff

Contamination Evidence:
  • Detection of chemical, metals, nitrates, petroleum, or other chemicals in surface water or well water tests.
Causes:
  • Spills.
  • Random waste disposal.
  • Abandoned commerical/industrial sites.
  • Motor vehicle emissions.
  • Fires.
Prevention:
  • Public information and education.
  • Street sweeping.
  • Anti-dumping codes.
  • Vegetated collection and infiltration basins for street and parking lot runoff.
  • Clean up abandoned commerical and industrial sites.
  • Proper cleanup of fire sites.

Construction Excavation

Construction

Contamination Evidence:
  • Spills.
  • Changes in color, taste, odor, or turbidity of water in nearby wells.
Causes:
  • Fuel and chemical spills.
  • Road dust-control chemical runoff.
  • Excessive and/or improper use of chemicals.
Prevention:
  • Spill containment and cleanup procedures.
  • Follow recommended practices for safe use of fuels and other hazardous substances.

Abandoned Industrial Sites (e.g. Mining)

Inactive Mine Sites

Contamination Evidence:
  • (Potential) Dumping of wastes in inactive mining pits.
Causes:
  • Rapid infiltration of contaminants due to loss of topsoil filtering capacity.
Prevention:
  • Close unused mine pits by restoring topsoil cover (reclamation)
  • Vigilance against waste dumping in inactive mining pits.

Cemeteries and Excavation

Cemetaries

Contamination Evidence:
  • Detection of high bacteria levels in nearby water well tests.
Causes:
  • High water table.
Prevention:
  • Avoid high water tables for burial sites.
  • Use watertight caskets in cemeteries with high water tables.