PROJECT PROFILE: CASH-MAP
CAmden Stormwater Heavy-Metal Analysis and Mapping Project
This project will analyze stormwater samples collected by Camden, NJ, residents from flooded basements and yards after heavy rain events. The stormwater samples will be analyzed for lead and other heavy metal contaminants (mercury, cadmium, arsenic) to identify potential heavy metal exposure to children and community members. Finally, a geographic information system (GIS) based mapping of heavy metal concentrations and locations will be performed to investigate contaminant trends related to land use, socioeconomic, and public health factors.
Camden has a rich industrial history, which has resulted in many different types of legacy contaminants deposited in soils around the city. Across the Delaware River in Philadelphia, it has been observed that the concentration of the toxic heavy metal lead (Pb) in the blood of children is correlated with the amount of Pb in the soil where the children live, suggesting that the children of Camden are also at risk for Pb poisoning. Alarmingly, Pb impairs the development of the central nervous system in children, leading to reduced cognitive ability and lower IQ. The situation in Camden is further complicated by the city’s combined sewer and stormwater infrastructure, which commonly floods into neighborhoods, parks, rivers, and creeks after moderate to heavy rain events that are increasing in frequency in the region due to climate change. Of particular concern is contaminated stormwater/sewer overflow flooding into the basements of Camden residents and subsequent human exposure.
Rowan University was awarded a $25,000 grant from the South Jersey Institute for Population Health (SJIPH).
Thivanka Ariyarathna, Ph.D. (Co-PI, Rowan University)
David Salas de la Cruz, Ph.D. (Co-PI, Rutgers University-Camden)
Shaneka Boucher (Social Responsibility Through Me, Camden)
Eli Moore, Ph.D., Research Chemist, U.S. Geological Survey
Jonathan Foglein, Laboratory Technician, Rowan University
Scott Schreiber, Executive Director, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority
Recruit Camden residents to collect stormwater samples from flooded basements and yards after heavy rain events
Analyze stormwater samples for lead and other heavy metal contaminants (mercury, cadmium, arsenic) to identify potential heavy metal exposure to children and community members
Create maps of heavy metal concentrations and investigate contaminant trends related to land use, socioeconomic, and public health factors