Investigating recycled water use as a diffuse source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to groundwater in Melbourne, Australia

Szabo, D, Coggan, T, Robson, T, Currell, M and Clarke, B 2018, 'Investigating recycled water use as a diffuse source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to groundwater in Melbourne, Australia', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 644, pp. 1409-1417.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Investigating recycled water use as a diffuse source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to groundwater in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Szabo, D
Coggan, T
Robson, T
Currell, M
Clarke, B
Year 2018
Journal name Science of the Total Environment
Volume number 644
Start page 1409
End page 1417
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to groundwater at a location where recycled water from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is used to irrigate crops. Groundwater from Werribee South, located west of Melbourne, Australia, was sampled over two campaigns in 2017 and 2018, extracted using solid phase extraction (SPE) and analysed with liquid chromatography-tandemmass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS-QQQ). PFASs were detected in 100% of the groundwater samples. The sum total of twenty PFAS compounds (Sigma(20)PFASs) for all sites in the study ranged from <0.03 to 74 ng/L (n = 28) and the highest levels of which were observed in the centre of the irrigation district. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) was the most detected compound overall (96%) with a mean concentration of 11 ng/L (<0.03-34 ng/L), followed by perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS; 86%, 4.4 ng/L), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; 82%, 2.2 ng/L) and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA; 77%, 6.1 ng/L). Concentrations of PFASs found in this study are greater than background levels of PFASs detected in groundwater and are in the range of concentrations typically detected in wastewater effluent. This study presents evidence that the use of recycled water can be a source of PFAS contamination to groundwater.
Subject Analytical Spectrometry
Hydrogeology
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Groundwater
Irrigation
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
PFOA
PFOS
Recycled water
Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.048
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0048-9697
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