Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-143
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-143

  24 Mar 2021

24 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal HESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

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

Felicia Linke1,3, Oliver Olsson2, Frank Preusser3, Klaus Kümmerer2, Lena Schnarr2, Marcus Bork1, and Jens Lange1 Felicia Linke et al.
  • 1Hydrology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
  • 3Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

Abstract. Biocides used in film protection products leaching from facades are known to be a potential threat for 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, terbuthylazin-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 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, but 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 additionally terbuthylazin-2-hydroxy was detected. Concentration of terbutryn and two of its TPs (terbutryn-desethyl and terbuthylazin-2-hydroxy) were highest in one of the pipes collecting infiltrated water through soil which suggests a high leaching potential of this biocide. This study shows that target-oriented monitoring of urban water infrastructure for biocides and their TPs allows for a better identification of biocide emissions into urban aquatic environments.

Felicia Linke et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Ute Schoknecht, 16 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Adèle Bressy, 10 May 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Ute Schoknecht, 16 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-143', Adèle Bressy, 10 May 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Felicia Linke, 14 Jun 2021

Felicia Linke et al.

Felicia Linke et al.

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Short summary
We used a two-step approach with limited sampling effort in existing water infrastructure to illustrate the risk of biocide emission in a 2 ha urban area, 13 years after construction had ended. First samples at a swale confirmed the overall relevance of biocide pollution. Then we identified sources where biocides were used for film protection and pathways where transformation products were formed. Our results suggest that biocide pollution is a continuous risk also in ageing urban areas.