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Title (Primary) Indicators for assessing anthropogenic impact on urban surface and groundwater
Author Strauch, G.; Möder, M.; Wennrich, R.; Osenbrück, K.; Gläser, H.-R.; Schladitz, T.; Müller, C.; Schirmer, K.; Reinstorf, F.; Schirmer, M.;
Journal Journal of Soils and Sediments
Year 2008
Volume 8
Issue 1
Language englisch;
Keywords carbamacepine; endocrine disrupters; gadolinium; indicators; stable isotopes; urban water; xenobiotics
Abstract Background, Aim and Scope: Our study focuses on the indication of anthropogenic impacts on the urban surface and groundwater in large cities, demonstrated for the cities of Halle/Saale and Leipzig (Germany). For the study we selected indicator substances such as xenobiotics, trace elements, and stable isotopes which are connected to human activities in urban areas. The xenobiotics reported here are the pharmaceutical carbamacepine, the polycylic musk compounds galaxolide and tonalide, the life style product caffeine, and industrial chemicals such as bisphenol A and t-nonylphenol. The investigated xenobiotics pose largely unknown risks to human health and the aquatic ecosystem. Trace elements are represented by the rare earth element gadolinium (Gd), used as magnetic resonance imaging contrast substance. Nitrogen isotopes in dissolved nitrate characterize the origin of nitrogen compounds, mixing and reaction processes.Materials and Methods: River water was sampled along the flow path of the rivers Saale and Weisse Elster through the city of Halle/Saale, the rivers Luppe and Weisse Elster through the city of Leipzig. Separate samples were collected from the effluent of the local waste water treatment plants. Groundwater from Quaternary plain aquifers along the rivers and from different urban locations was collected at the same time. The indicators were analysed and assessed according to their sources, concentration and distribution patterns.Results: Based on the nitrogen isotopic signature, dissolved nitrate in river water of the Saale was referred mainly to two sources: the effluent of the water treatment plant and a mixture of diffusive inputs from rain water channels, sewage leakages and agriculture activities along the rivers. The Gd anomaly was recognized in surface water of both cities, particularly in the effluent of the water treatment plants, but clearly attenuated in groundwater. We measured concentrations of xenobiotics in river and sewer water between 10 and 60,000 ng L-1, and, in groundwater, one order of magnitude lower. Distinctions of xenobiotic patterns were found in river water before and after the effluent of treated waste water into the rivers. Discussion: Degradation of endocrine disrupters and fragrances, but also persistence of carbamacepine were recognized as essential processes during waste water treatment. At the study site Halle/Saale, mass balances were set up for xenobiotics and water fluxes.Conclusions: At both sites, we demonstrated that indicators such as xenobiotics, gadolinium, and nitrogen isotopes are suitable for assessing anthropogenic impacts on urban water. However, the behaviour of these indicators in surface and groundwater has to be considered according to the different geochemical environments.Recommendations and Perspectives: For a reliable trend assessment, more measurements are necessary. In order to achieve this, the measurement programme will be continued. Because of the different hydrological situation in Leipzig having no main river, the mass balance model of Halle/Saale cannot directly be transferred to the city Leipzig.
ID 1497
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Strauch, G., Möder, M., Wennrich, R., Osenbrück, K., Gläser, H.-R., Schladitz, T., Müller, C., Schirmer, K., Reinstorf, F., Schirmer, M. (2008):
Indicators for assessing anthropogenic impact on urban surface and groundwater
J. Soils Sediments 8 (1), 23 - 33