Sources and pathways of biocides and their transformation products in urban storm water infrastructure of a 2 ha urban district

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review

Authors

Biocides used in film protection products leaching from facades are known to be a potential threat to the environment. This study identifies individual sources and entry pathways in a small-scale urban area. We investigate emissions of commonly used biocides (terbutryn, diuron, and octylisothiazolinone - OIT) and some of their transformation products (TPs; diuron-desmethyl, terbumeton, terbuthylazine-2-hydroxy, and terbutryn-desethyl) from a 2 ha residential area 13 years after construction has ended. Sampling utilizes existing urban water infrastructure representative for decentralized storm water management in central and northern Europe and applies a two-step approach to (a) determine the occurrence of biocides above water quality limits (i.e., predicted no-effect concentration, PNEC) and (b) identify source areas and characterize entry pathways into surface and groundwater. Monitoring focuses on the analysis of selected biocides and TPs by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in water samples taken from facades, rainwater pipes, drainage, and storm water infiltration systems. In standing water in a swale, we found high concentrations of diuron (174 ng L-1) and terbutryn (40 ng L-1) above PNEC for surface water. We confirmed expected sources, i.e., facades. Sampling of rain downpipes from flat roofs identified additional sources of all biocides and two TPs of terbutryn and one TP of diuron. Diuron and terbutryn were found in three drainage pipes representing different entry pathways of biocides. In one drainage pipe collecting road runoff, only diuron-desmethyl and terbutryn-desethyl were detected. In two other drainage pipes collecting infiltrated water through soil, terbuthylazine-2-hydroxy was additionally detected. One of the pipes collecting infiltrated water through soil concentration showed the highest concentrations of terbutryn and two of its TPs (terbutryn-desethyl and terbuthylazine-2-hydroxy). This suggests a high leaching potential of terbutryn. The applied two-step approach determined sources and pathways of biocide and their TPs. This study contributes to expanding knowledge on their entry and distribution and, thus, eventually towards reducing emissions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume25
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)4495-4512
Number of pages18
ISSN1027-5606
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20.08.2021