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Journal of Hazardous Materials

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Urban streams are at high risk of riparian erosion which impacts adjacent infrastructure stability. Methods to prevent stream erosion have been proposed including using recycled concrete (RC) materials to help stabilize the streambed; however, little is known about the environmental and biological impacts of using RC in urban streams. RC, new concrete (NC), and river rock controls were evaluated for their impact on water chemistry, water quality, and microbial community composition over 6.5 months in controlled laboratory mesocosms. Concentrations of 19 metals, nutrients, and pH of mesocosms containing RC were not significantly different from the river rock mesocosm throughout the experiment; however, NC mesocosms contained significantly higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of Co, As, Al, and V in mesocosm water samples compared to both RC and the river rock control. Microbial community diversity was not significantly impacted by mesocosm treatment. Microbial sequences mapping to taxa including Rhodoferax, Acidovorax, Nitrosomonas, and Novosphingobium were significantly more abundant (p < 0.01) in RC and NC mesocosm samples; however, the overall microbial community structure was similar across treatment types. Results from this study suggest that RC does not significantly alter the stream environment including microbial community diversity and is a viable option for use in stream restoration projects.


Accepted version. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 434 (July 2022): 128934. DOI. © 2022 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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