Tag Archives: water quality

Impact of Changing Water Supply Quality on Distributed Water

Liu G, Zhang Y, Knibbe WJ, Feng C, Liu W, Medema G, van der Meer W. Potential impacts of changing supply-water quality on drinking water distribution: A review. Water Res. 2017 Mar 19;116:135-148. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.03.031.

Driven by the development of water purification technologies and water quality regulations, the use of better source water and/or upgraded water treatment processes to improve drinking water quality have become common practices worldwide. However, even though these elements lead to improved water quality, the water quality may be impacted during its distribution through piped networks due to the processes such as pipe material release, biofilm formation and detachment, accumulation and resuspension of loose deposits. Irregular changes in supply-water quality may cause physiochemical and microbiological de-stabilization of pipe material, biofilms and loose deposits in the distribution system that have been established over decades and may harbor components that cause health or esthetical issues (brown water). Even though it is clearly relevant to customers’ health (e.g., recent Flint water crisis), until now, switching of supply-water quality is done without any systematic evaluation. This article reviews the contaminants that develop in the water distribution system and their characteristics, as well as the possible transition effects during the switching of treated water quality by destabilization and the release of pipe material and contaminants into the water and the subsequent risks. At the end of this article, a framework is proposed for the evaluation of potential transition effects.

Water Resources Contamination, Democratic Republic of Congo

Kilunga PI, Kayembe JM, Laffite A, Thevenon F, Devarajan N, Mulaji CK, Mubedi JI, Yav ZG, Otamonga JP, Mpiana PT, Poté J. The impact of hospital and urban wastewaters on the bacteriological contamination of the water resources in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering. 2016 Jul 7:1-9.

Although the United Nations General Assembly recognized in 2010 the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the contamination of water supplies with faecal pathogens is still a major and unsolved problem in many parts of the world. In this study, faecal indicator bacteria (FIB), including Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus (ENT), were quantified over the period of June/July 2014 and June/July 2015 to assess the quality of hospital effluents (n = 3: H1, H2 and H3) and of rivers receiving wastewaters from the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The water and sediment samples from the river-receiving systems were collected in, upstream and downstream of the hospital outlet pipe (HOP) discharge. The analysis of E. coli and ENT inwater and sediment suspension was performed using the cultural membrane filter method. The FIB characterization was performed for general E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis(E. faecalis) and human-specific Bacteroides by PCR using specific primers. The results revealed very high FIB concentration in the hospital effluent waters, with E. coli reaching the values of 4.2 × 105, 16.1 × 105 and 5.9 × 105 CFU 100 mL-1, for the hospital effluents from H1, H2, and H3, respectively; and Enterococcus reaching the values of 2.3 × 104, 10.9 × 104 and 4.1 × 104 CFU 100 mL-1, respectively. Interestingly, the FIB levels in the water and sediment samples from river-receiving systems are spatially and temporally highly variable and present in some samples with higher values than the hospital effluents. The PCR assays for human-specific Bacteroides HF183/HF134 further indicate that more than 98% of bacteria were from human origin. The results of this research therefore confirm the hypothesis of our previous studies, indicating that in developing countries (e.g., Democratic Republic of Congo and South India), the hospital effluent waters can be a significant source of the deterioration of the bacteriological quality for urban rivers. The approach used in this investigation can be further used to decipher the pollution of water resources by human faecal contamination. The results of this research will help to better understand the microbiological pollution problems in river-receiving systems and will guide municipality decisions on improving the urbanwater quality.

Comparison of Fecal Indicator Test for Monitoring the Three Gorges Reservoir

Wang Z, Xiao G, Zhou N, Qi W, Han L, Ruan Y, Guo D, Zhou H. Comparison of two methods for detection of fecal indicator bacteria used in water quality monitoring of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Journal of Environmental Sciences (China) 2015 Dec;38:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2015.04.029. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Scientifically sound methods to rapidly measure fecal indicator bacteria are important to ensure safe water for drinking and recreational purposes. A total of 200 water samples obtained from the Three Gorges Reservoir during three successive one-year study periods (October 2009 to September 2012) were analyzed using multiple-tube fermentation (MTF) and most probable numbers combined with polymerase chain reaction (MPN-PCR). The MPN-PCR method was found to be significantly more sensitive than the MTF method for detecting Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp., and of equal sensitivity for detecting total coliforms when all surface water samples were grouped together. The two analytical methods had a strong, significant relationship, but MPN-PCR took only 12-18hr, compared with the 3-8days needed using the MTF method. Bacterial concentrations varied per sampling site but were significantly lower in the mainstream of the Yangtze River than those in the backwater areas of tributaries. The water quality of 85.8% of water samples from the mainstream was suitable for use as a centralized potablewater source, while the water quality of 52.5% of water samples from the backwater areas was unsuitable for recreational activities. Relationships between fecal indicator bacteria showed significant correlation (r=0.636-0.909, p<0.01, n=200), while a weak but significant correlation was found between fecal indicators and water turbidity, water temperature, daily inflow, and total dissolved solids (r=0.237-0.532, p<0.05, n=200). The study indicated that MPN-PCR is a rapid and easily performed deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based method for quantitative detection of viable total coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus spp. in surface water.

Impact of Land Use Changes on Three Gorges Reservoir Headwaters

Yang H, Wang G, Wang L, Zheng B. Impact of land use changes on water quality in headwaters of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 2015 Dec 19.

The assessment of spatial and temporal variation of water quality influenced by land use is necessary to manage the environment sustainably in basin scales. Understanding the correlations between land use and different formats of nonpoint source nutrients pollutants is a priority in order to assess pollutants loading and predicting the impact on surface water quality. Forest, upland, paddy field, and pasture are the dominant land use in the study area, and their land use pattern status has direct connection with nonpoint source (NPS) pollutant loading. In this study, two land use scenarios (1995 and 2010) were used to evaluate the impact of land use changes on NPS pollutants loading in basins upstream of Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR), using a calibrated and validated version of the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model. The Pengxi River is one of the largest tributaries of the Yangtze River upstream of the TGR, and the study area included the basins of the Dong and Puli Rivers, two major tributaries of the Pengxi River. The results indicated that the calibrated SWAT model could successfully reproduce the loading of NPS pollutants in the basins of the Dong and Puli Rivers. During the 16-year study period, the land use changed markedly with obvious increase of water body and construction. Average distance was used to measure relative distribution patterns of land use types to basin outlets. Forest was mainly distributed in upstream areas whereas other land use types, in particular, water bodies and construction areas were mainly distributed in downstream areas. The precipitation showed a non-significant influence on NPS pollutants loading; to the contrary, interaction between precipitation and land use were significant sources of variation. The different types of land use change were sensitive to NPS pollutants as well as land use pattern. The influence of background value of soil nutrient on NPS pollutants loading was evaluated in upland and paddy field. It was found that total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) in upland were more sensitive to NPS pollutants loading than in paddy fields. The results of this study have implications for management of the TGR to reduce the loading of NPS pollutants into downstream water bodies.

1000 mg/L TDS Chronic Effects Benchmark for Aquatic Life, Snap Lake, Canada

Chapman PM, McPherson CA. Development of a total dissolved solids (TDS) chronic effects benchmark for a northern Canadian lake. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 2015 Jul 14. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1679.

Laboratory chronic toxicity tests with plankton, benthos, and fish early life stages were conducted with total dissolved solids (TDS) at an ionic composition specific to Snap Lake (Northwest Territories, Canada), which receives treated effluent from the Snap Lake Diamond Mine. Snap Lake TDS composition has remained consistent from 2007 to 2014 and is expected to remain unchanged through the life of the mine: Cl (45%-47%), Ca (20%-21%), Na (10%-11%), sulfate (9%); carbonate (5%-7%), nitrate (4%), Mg (2%-3%), and minor contributions from K and fluoride. The TDS concentrations that resulted in negligible effects (i.e., 10% or 20% effect concentrations) to taxa representative of resident biota ranged from greater than 1100 to greater than 2200 mg/L, with the exception of a 21% effect concentration of 990 mg/L for 1 of 2 early life stage fish dry fertilization tests (wet fertilization results were >1480 mg/L). A conservative, site-specific, chronic effects benchmark for Snap Lake TDS of 1000 mg/L was derived, below the lowest negligible effect concentration for the most sensitive resident taxon tested, the cladoceran, Daphnia magna (>1100 mg/L). Cladocerans typically only constitute a few percent of the zooplankton community and biomass in Snap Lake; other plankton effect concentrations ranged from greater than 1330 to greater than 1510 mg/L. Chironomids, representative of the lake benthos, were not affected by greater than 1380 mg/L TDS. Early life stage tests with 3 fish species resulted in 10% to 20% effect concentrations ranging from greater than 1410 to greater than 2200 mg/L. The testing undertaken is generally applicable to northern freshwaters, and the concept can readily be adapted to other freshwaters either for TDS where ionic composition does not change or for major ionic components, where TDS composition does change.

Oxygen Depletion in the Minjiang River Estuary, Southeast China

Zhang P, Pang Y, Pan H, Shi C, Huang Y, Wang J. Factors Contributing to Hypoxia in the Minjiang River Estuary, Southeast China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015 Aug 11;12(8):9357-74. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120809357.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is not only a fundamental parameter of coastal water quality, but also an indication of organics decomposed in water and their degree of eutrophication. There has been a concern about the deterioration of dissolved oxygen conditions in the Minjiang River Estuary, the longest river in Fujian Province, Southeast China. In this study, the syntheses effects on DO was analyzed by using a four year time series of DO concentration and ancillary parameters (river discharge, water level, and temperature) from the Fuzhou Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, at three automated stations along the Minjiang River Estuary. Hypoxia occurred exclusively in the fluvial sections of the estuary during the high temperature and low river discharge period and was remarkably more serious in the river reach near the large urban area of Fuzhou. Enhancement of respiration by temperature and discharge of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, versus regeneration of waters and dilution of pollutant concentration with increased river discharge, which regarded as the dominant antagonist processes that controlled the appearance of seasonal hypoxia. During the high temperature and the drought period, minimal mainstream flow above 700 m(3)Ÿs(-1), reduction of pollutants and forbidding sediment dredging in the South Channel should be guaranteed for strong supports on water quality management and drinking water source protection.

Water Quality Criteria for Bisphenol A; China

Lei Guo, Zhengyan Li, Pei Gao, Hong Hu, Mark Gibson. Ecological risk assessment of bisphenol A in surface waters of China based on both traditional and reproductive endpoints. Chemosphere. Volume 139, November 2015, Pages 133–137

Bisphenol A (BPA) occurs widely in natural waters with both traditional and reproductive toxicity to various aquatic species. The water quality criteria (WQC), however, have not been established in China, which hinders the ecological risk assessment for the pollutant. This study therefore aims to derive the water quality criteria for BPA based on both acute and chronic toxicity endpoints and to assess the ecological risk in surface waters of China. A total of 15 acute toxicity values tested with aquatic species resident in China were found in published literature, which were simulated with the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model for the derivation of criterion maximum concentration (CMC). 18 chronic toxicity values with traditional endpoints were simulated for the derivation of traditional criterion continuous concentration (CCC) and 12 chronic toxicity values with reproductive endpoints were for reproductive CCC. Based on the derived WQC, the ecological risk of BPA in surface waters of China was assessed with risk quotient (RQ) method. The results showed that the CMC, traditional CCC and reproductive CCC were 1518 μg L−1, 2.19 μg L−1 and 0.86 μg L−1, respectively. The acute risk of BPA was negligible with RQ values much lower than 0.1. The chronic risk was however much higher with RQ values of between 0.01–3.76 and 0.03–9.57 based on traditional and reproductive CCC, respectively. The chronic RQ values on reproductive endpoints were about threefold as high as those on traditional endpoints, indicating that ecological risk assessment based on traditional effects may not guarantee the safety of aquatic biota.