Multimedia model for analysis of contaminant releases in Passaic River Watershed

Lansana Coulibaly, Mohamed E. Labib, Jay N. Meegoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Understanding the role of local and cross-boundary sources is essential in making sound decisions in mitigating the impact of contaminant. In this paper such spatial assessments of multiple sources of contamination in the Passaic River Watershed was evaluated using a multimedia environmental model. Application of multimedia models could lead to informed management decisions for watershed contamination by providing a spatial and temporal distribution of contaminants and the relative importance of point sources, cross-boundary fluxes and environmental processes of the contaminants. An evaluation of trichloroethylene (TCE) release in the Passaic River Watershed was performed in this study through the assessment of its fate and transport using unsteady state and spatially variable multimedia modeling. This assessment was coupled with long-term analysis of releases to perform multiple scenarios of TCE releases, and to evaluate changes in current environmental concentrations within the watershed. The current multimedia model also assess the non-attainment of the watershed in regards to TCE contamination. Based on the release data that are currently available, attainment of TCE contamination would be reached for all subwatersheds except one. The influence of regional fluxes to the watershed contamination was quantitatively evaluated and shown for the Passaic River Watershed. The control of local releases of TCE was also evaluated to determine their effectiveness on reducing the watershed contamination. The local releases are shown to be important to the watershed contamination, and are found to be more significant than regional influxes of contaminants. Since there was no rigorous calibration of the proposed model due to lack of measured data, the model predictions should be used with care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalPractice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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