Source apportionment of trace contaminants in urban sewer catchments.
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Sampling and analysis of Water Framework Directive priority chemicals were undertaken in nine urban catchments across the UK. Over 9000 samples were collected from a number of different catchment sources including tap water, domestic waste water, surface water runoff, trade discharges, town centre and light industrial estate wastewaters. Determinands included trace metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), persistent organic pollutants and a number of common pharmaceuticals. Loads of the chemicals from each catchment entering the local wastewater treatment works (WwTW) were estimated and were shown to be relatively consistent between different catchments, after taking population into account. A Monte Carlo mixing model was used to combine the concentrations and flows from the different catchment sources and to predict concentrations and loads entering the WwTW. Based on the model output, the significance of the different sources could be evaluated. The study highlighted the importance of domestic wastewater as a source of contaminants, including metals and trace organic substances (such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), bisphenol A, nonylphenol and tributyl tin (TBT)). Concentrations in trade discharges were important in some locations in the case of nonylphenol, EDTA, TBT, as well as for some metals such as copper, zinc and nickel. Contributions to the total load from town centre and light industrial estate sources were generally less than 10% of the total.
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