Identification and assessment of ecotoxicological hazards attributable to pollutants in urban wet weather discharges

Abstract : The phenomenon of urbanization leads to considerable pressure on urban/suburban aquatic ecosystems. Urban Wet Weather Discharges (UWWDs) during rainfall events are a major source of pollutants leached onto and into urban surfaces and sewers, which in turn affect aquatic ecosystems. The aim of this study is to assess the ecotoxicity of the different compounds identified in UWWDs and identify the hazard represented by each of them. To this end, hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for each compound detected in UWWDs, based on their Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) values and their maximum concentration (MECmax) found in the dissolved part of UWWDs. For the 207 compounds identified in UWWDs, sufficient data existed for 165 of them to calculate their PNEC. The ecotoxicity of these compounds is greatly variable. Pesticides represent a high proportion of the wide variety of hazardous compounds whose HQ were calculated (a total of 94 HQ), and they are among the most hazardous pollutants (HQ >1000) transported by stormwater. On the contrary, the hazard of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) is mainly linked to heavy metals and pharmaceutical compounds. Consequently, the monitoring of these pollutants is a priority in the future. Lastly, it is to bear in mind that the hazard level of certain pollutants could be underestimated, due to their adsorption on particles, leading their low presence in the dissolved phase of UWWDs. So, an in-depth study of these pollutants will be required to clarify their effects on aquatic organisms.
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Antoine Gosset, Claude Durrieu, Frédéric Orias, Rémy Bayard, Yves Perrodin. Identification and assessment of ecotoxicological hazards attributable to pollutants in urban wet weather discharges. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2017, 19, pp.1150-1168. ⟨10.1039/C7EM00159B⟩. ⟨hal-01567078⟩

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