Jäger, A; Posselt, M; Betterle, A; Schaper, J; Mechelke, J; Coll, C; Lewandowski, J: Spatial and Temporal Variability in Attenuation of Polar Organic Micropollutants in an Urban Lowland Stream, Environmental Science & Technology, 53(5), 2383-2395 (2019), doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b05488 [Link]

Contamination of rivers by trace organic compounds (TrOCs) poses a risk for aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality. Spatially- and temporally varying environmental conditions are expected to play a major role in controlling in-stream attenuation of TrOCs. This variability is rarely captured by in situ studies of TrOC attenuation. Instead, snap-shots or time-weighted average conditions and corresponding attenuation rates are reported. The present work sought to investigate this variability and factors controlling it by analysis of 24 TrOCs over a 4.7 km reach of the River Erpe (Berlin, Germany). The factors investigated included sunlight and water temperature as well as the presence of macrophytes. Attenuation rate constants in 48 consecutive hourly water parcels were tracked along two contiguous river sections of different characteristics. Section 1 was less shaded and more densely covered with submerged macrophytes compared to section 2. The sampling campaign was repeated after macrophyte removal from section 1. The findings show, that section 1 generally provided more favorable conditions for both photo- and biodegradation. Macrophyte removal enhanced photolysis of some compounds (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide and diclofenac) while reducing the biodegradation of metoprolol. The transformation products metoprolol acid and valsartan acid were formed along the reach under all conditions.


Please note that an open access post-print version of this manuscript will be available after an embargo period here

last modified 2019-03-10