Colgate University Libraries


Douglas Collins


Payne Creek, located in Hamilton, NY, runs through both the Seven Oaks Golf Course and the grounds of Colgate University, before being subjected to the effluent of the municipal sewage treatment facility. Trace metal analysis was performed using ICP-MS to identify contamination sources. The golf course and the fields of Colgate University were identified as non-point sources, due to fertilizers. At a site on the golf course, cadmium was recorded at 0.6 ppb ±0.1 ppb, and nickel at 10.2 ppb ±0.1 ppb. All measurements yielded concentrations below NYSDEC surface water limits, except for one: cobalt (6.7 ppb ±0.3 ppb) exceeded the state limit of 5 ppb. The water treatment plant was an expected point source and yielded relatively elevated concentrations of zinc (26.8 ppb ±0.9 ppb), copper (16.6 ppb ±0.3 ppb), lead (2.0 ppb ±0.4 ppb), and chromium (2 ppb ± 1 ppb). This analysis provides a basis for understanding the effects of landscape management and anthropogenic interaction with surface waters. Trend analysis shows distinct areas of pollution and more detailed sampling and analysis could yield accurate identification of pollution sources.