Urban stormwater runoff is a significant source of pollutants into surface water bodies. One such pollutant, 1H-benzotriazole, is a persistent, recalcitrant trace organic contaminant commonly used as a corrosion inhibitor in airplane deicing processes, automobile liquids, and engine coolants. This study explored the removal of 1H-benzotriazole from stormwater using bench-scale biofilter mesocosms planted with California native sedge, Carex praegracilis, over a series of three storm events and monitoring period. Benzotriazole metabolites glycosylated benzotriazole and benzotriazole alanine were detected and benzotriazole and glycosylated benzotriazole partitioning in the system were quantified. With a treatment length of seven days, 97.1% of benzotriazole was removed from stormwater effluent from vegetated biofilter mesocosms. Significant concentrations of benzotriazole and glycosylated benzotriazole were observed in the C. praegracilis leaf and root tissue. Additionally, a significant missing sink of benzotriazole developed in the vegetated biofilter mesocosms. This study suggests that vegetation may increase the operating lifespan of bioretention basins by enhancing degradation of dissolved trace organic contaminants, thus increasing the sorption capacity of the geomedia.
benzotriazole; biofilter; bioretention; green infrastructure; phytoremediation; sorption; stormwater
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.