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Scoping study and research strategy development on currently known and emerging contaminants influencing drinking water quality
Expanded Title:The aims of this project were to review literature on emerging contaminants (ECs) in drinking water and identify three critical ECs for which (a) analytical methods would be reviewed, (b) a national reconnaissance survey performed, and (c) a risk matrix developed. Critical EC-related issues would be also identified and a future research strategy be developed. Three contaminants were chosen for the national survey: atrazine (herbicide), carbamazepine (analgesic and anticonvulsant) and terbuthylazine (herbicide). Samples were taken of treated drinking water in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria. Tap water was also collected in Bloemfontein. Samples were taken in February, May, August and November of 2012. All samples were quantitatively analysed using HPLC-MS for the three selected contaminants. All samples were also qualitatively screened for the presence of over 600 possible contaminants using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS-MS). The LC-MS-MS screening analysis revealed the presence of a total of 38 pesticides or pharmaceuticals. The HPLC-MS analysis showed that even the maximum concentrations of each of atrazine, carbamazepine and terbuthylazine were more than 10 times less than Maximum Contaminant Levels set by the US EPA. A national programme should be considered in which drinking water is seasonally or bi-annually qualitatively screened, and frequently-observed ECs are quantitatively analysed. It is also recommended that a similar qualitative screen and quantitation of the level of selected ECs be undertaken in one or more rural communities that routinely use raw water directly from rivers and dams. A study is also recommended on the presence of pharmaceuticals in borehole water due to leaching from medical waste dumping grounds.
Date Published:01/07/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Drinking water - Water supply
Document Keywords:Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:2093/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0440-3
Authors:Patterton HG
Project No:K5/2093
Originator:WRC
Organizations:University of the Free State
Document Size:787 KB
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