• 1 Chemistry Department, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2 Soil and Water Sciences Department, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Wimauma, Florida, United States of America
  • 3 Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States of America
PLoS One, 2020;15(4):e0230908.
PMID: 32236119 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230908


Stormwater runoff is recognized as a cause of water quality degradation because it may carry nitrogen (N) and other pollutants to aquatic ecosystems. Stormwater ponds are a stormwater control measure often used to manage stormwater runoff by holding a permanent pool of water, which reduces the peak flow, magnitude of runoff volume, and concentrations of nutrients and pollutants. We instrumented the outlet of a stormwater pond in an urban residential neighbourhood in Florida, United States to (1) investigate the concentration and composition of N forms during the summer rainy season (May to September 2016), and (2) determine the bioavailability of organic N in the stormwater pond with a bioassay experiment. A total of 144 outflow water samples over 13 storm events were collected at the outlet of the stormwater pond that collects runoff from the residential catchment. Samples were analysed for various inorganic N [ammonium (NH4-N), nitrate (NO3-N)], and organic N forms [dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and particulate organic nitrogen (PON)]. Flow-weighted mean concentration of total N (TN) in pond outflow for all collected storm events was 1.3±1.42 mg L-1, with DON as the dominant form (78%), followed by PON and NO3-N (each at 8%), and NH4-N (6%). In the bioassay experiment, organic N (DON+PON) was significantly decreased by 25-28% after 5 days of incubation, suggesting that a portion of the DON carried from the pond outflow to receiving water bodies may be bioavailable. These results suggest that efforts to mitigate stormwater N outflows from urban ponds should incorporate both inorganic and organic N in management plans.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.