Metal forms and dynamics in urban stormwater runoff: new insights from diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) measurements

McDonald, Sarah, Holland, Aleicia, Simpson, Stuart L., Gadd, Jennifer B., Bennett, William W., Walker, Glen w., Keough, Michael J., Cresswell, Tom, and Hassell, Kathryn L. (2022) Metal forms and dynamics in urban stormwater runoff: new insights from diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) measurements. Water Research, 209. 117967.

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Stormwater runoff typically contains significant quantities of metal contaminants that enter urban waterways over short durations and represent a potential risk to water quality. The origin of metals within the catchment and processes that occur over the storm can control the partitioning of metals between a range of different forms. Understanding the fraction of metals present in a form that is potentially bioavailable to aquatic organisms is useful for environmental risk assessment. To help provide this information, the forms and dynamics of metal contaminants in an urban system were assessed across a storm. Temporal patterns in the concentration of metals in dissolved and particulate (total suspended solids; TSS) forms were assessed from water samples, and diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGTs) were deployed to measure the DGT-labile time-integrated metal concentration. Results indicate that the concentrations of dissolved and TSS-associated metals increased during the storm, with the metals Al, Cd, Co, Cu, Pb and Zn representing the greatest concern relative to water quality guideline values (GVs). The portion of labile metal as measured by DGT devices indicated that during the storm a substantial fraction (∼98%) of metals were complexed and pose a lower risk of acute toxicity to aquatic organisms. Comparison of DGT results to GVs indicate that current GVs are likely quite conservative when assessing stormwater pollution risks with regards to metal contaminants. This study provides valuable insight into the forms and dynamics of metals in an urban system receiving stormwater inputs and assists with the development of improved approaches for the assessment of short-term, intermittent discharge events.

Item ID: 71555
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-2448
Keywords: Bioavailable, Dissolved organic matter, Labile, Partitioning, Water quality guidelines
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 03:25
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410201 Bioavailability and ecotoxicology @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1803 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management > 180301 Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems @ 100%
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