Mercury and PCBs

The Contra Costa Clean Water Program assists Permittees in implementing control programs for mercury and PCBs in order to reduce pollutant loads to receiving waters and make substantial progress towards maintaining and improving water quality.

Many of the State Permit requirements related to PCBs are being addressed regionally through regional projects and/or collaborations.

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Footnote: Bars represent the average PCB concentration on suspended particles measured during a storm at each location. Data from Gilbreath et al. (2017)


Urban stormwater is the largest pathway of PCB loads to the Bay. As one major element of the RMP, concentrations of PCBs and mercury on suspended sediment particles from a wide range of watersheds are being measured as an index of the degree of watershed contamination and potential for effective management action. Stormwater samples from Pulgas Creek Pump Station North and South, Industrial Road Ditch, and Gull Drive Storm Drain in San Mateo County; Santa Fe Channel in Contra Costa County; Outfall at Gilman Street and Ettie Street Pump Station in Alameda County; and Outfall to Lower Silver Creek in Santa Clara County had the highest concentrations of PCBs on suspended sediment particles measured to date. These watersheds may present good opportunities for load reduction.