Agricultural pollutants and other emerging contaminants in urban groundwaters and their use in tracing to recharge sources

Brauns, Bentje; Chandra, Subhash; Lapworth, Dan ORCID:; MacDonald, Alan ORCID:; McKenzie, Andy; Sekhar, Muddu; Srinivasan, Veena; Thankachan, Amritha. 2022 Agricultural pollutants and other emerging contaminants in urban groundwaters and their use in tracing to recharge sources. [Lecture] In: The 2022 International Symposium on Resilient and Sustainable Cities & The 22nd Annual General Meeting of UK-CARE, Online, 6-8 Dec 2022. (Unpublished)

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Groundwaters in urban areas can be recharged from a number of potential sources such as sewer and mains leakage, and recharge from urban surface water bodies. Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs), which include such substances as pesticides and growth regulators, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and industrial contaminants may be present in each of the above recharge sources, but likely with different fingerprints. Therefore, assessing the EOC loading and composition of recharge sources and groundwaters does not only provide valuable information on pollutant loads itself, but can also provide information on recharge pathways. In this study, 25 samples from groundwater, surface water and mains water (imported water from the Cauvery River) in the Indian city of Bengaluru were screened for a total of 1499 EOCs to investigate and describe potential pollution from different recharge sources. A total of 126 EOCs were detected, with most detected compounds falling into the group of medical/veterinary (n=70) or agrochemical (n=41) compounds. Out of these, 63 EOCs were detected in groundwaters at concentrations between 1 and 3200 ng/L. Several of the detected compounds could be linked directly to distinct recharge sources. For example, agricultural products, such as the growth regulator Trinexapac and the herbicide Atrazine were only detected in groundwater and piped mains water, indicating a pollution pathway by recharge from mains water leakage. The majority (60%) of detected compound in the piped mains were agricultural products. Conversely, medical/veterinary compounds dominated the surface water (inner-city rivers and lakes) composition. Ibuprofen, for example, was detected with maximum concentrations of 28 000 ng/L in surface water and 1 400 ng/L in groundwater, but not detected in the mains water. This indicates a connectivity between Vrishabhavathi River and urban lakes with the groundwater system. The study documents the pollution risks associated to specific recharge sources in Bengaluru which has implications on management options such as implementation of protection measures. Keywords: Emerging contaminants, Bengaluru, Groundwater-surface water, India, groundwater recharge, agricultural pollutants

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Additional Keywords: IGRD, GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater
Date made live: 10 Feb 2023 15:03 +0 (UTC)

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