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Re: Water Run-off

> Does anyone have articles or reports or links regarding the issue of water
> run-off into an edible garden from asphalt (in this case a playground that
> is asphalted)? What toxins are evident and how do they impact the garden
> soil? What are some remediation tactics, aside from prevention of the
> run-off in the first place?
> Thanks so much for responses.
> Leslie Pohl-Kosbau
> Portland Community Gardens

Hello Leslie,

There are a number of papers on roadway runoff, and dry and wet deposition of 
hydrocarbons and other pollutants in urban areas. In general, most of the 
materials from airborne deposition and/or leaching from the asphalt are 
relatively low molecular weight hydrocarbons. Wetlands and humic, nutrient 
rich soils are pretty good sinks for such materials, and mineralization rates 
are quite reasonable. 

A number of the references may be found in various places on our website 
(there are a great number of references in the EIS on using wetlands for 
treating leachate from landfills on our site). Our website also shows how a 
wetland  can be used to catch and treat runoff from a playground. Since frog, 
toads, and salamanders have emerged from tadpoles raised in the ponds, I 
imagine water quality is fairly good, although we haven't done a scan for 
hydrocarbons as of yet. 

Hope this is of help.


Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D.
Executive Director
The Gaia Institute  New York City Soil & Water Conservation District

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