Toxicity characterization of urban stormwater in Australia

Tang, J. Y. M., Aryal, R., Deletic, A., Gernjak, W., Glenn, E., McCarthy, D. and Escher, B. I. (2013). Toxicity characterization of urban stormwater in Australia. In: ICMPE7: 7th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology. Programme and Abstracts. ICMPE07: 7th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology, Hong Kong, China, (O-99-O-99). 17-21 June, 2013.

Author Tang, J. Y. M.
Aryal, R.
Deletic, A.
Gernjak, W.
Glenn, E.
McCarthy, D.
Escher, B. I.
Title of paper Toxicity characterization of urban stormwater in Australia
Conference name ICMPE07: 7th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology
Conference location Hong Kong, China
Conference dates 17-21 June, 2013
Proceedings title ICMPE7: 7th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology. Programme and Abstracts
Place of Publication Hong Kong, China
Publisher School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Published abstract
Start page O-99
End page O-99
Total pages 1
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The contrast between rapidly growing population and limited water resources is a pressing issue of urban water supply. Rising demand for urban water exceeds supply, due to limited water sources and population growth. Stormwater harvesting has become an attractive alternative strategy to address this shortage. However, urban stormwater is also a major source of surface water pollution. Runoff from different urban catchments with source contributions from anthropogenic activities and various land uses causes variable contaminant profiles, thus posing a challenging task for environmental monitoring and risk assessment. A thorough understanding of raw stormwater quality is essential to develop appropriate treatment facilities for potential indirect potable reuse of stormwater. Only scarce data are available on stormwater toxicity, while some of the key chemical components have previously been characterized. We benchmarked stormwater samples from urban, residential and industrial sites across various Australian capital cities against samples from the entire water cycle, from sewage to drinking water. Six biological endpoints, targeting groups of chemicals with modes of toxic action of particular relevance for human and environmental health, were investigated: non-specific toxicity (Microtox and combined algae test), the specific modes of action of phytotoxicity (combined algae test), dioxin-like activity (AhR-CAFLUX), and estrogenicity (E-SCREEN), as well as reactive toxicity encompassing genotoxicity (umuC) and oxidative stress (AREc32). Non-specific toxicity was highly variable. The baseline toxicity equivalent concentrations of the most polluted samples were similar to secondary treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants. Phytotoxicity results correlated well with the measured herbicide concentrations at all sites. High estrogenicity was found in two sampling events and could be related to sewage overflow. Genotoxicity, dioxin-like activity and oxidative stress response were evident in only three of the samples where the stormwater drain was beside a heavy traffic road, suggesting that road runoff is the potential source of contaminants, while the bioanalytical equivalent concentrations (BEQ) of these samples were similar to those of raw sewage. This study demonstrated the benefit of bioanalytical tools for screening-level stormwater quality assessment, forming the basis for the evaluation of future stormwater treatment and reuse schemes.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Authors prepress title: "Toxicity characterization of urban stormwater with bioanalytical tools".

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Created: Wed, 05 Mar 2014, 09:38:18 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology