Hydrophobic organic contaminants, although frequently detected in bed sediment and in aquatic biota, are rarely detected in whole-water samples, complicating determination of their occurrence, load, and source. A better approach for the investigation of hydrophobic organic contaminants is the direct analysis of sediment in suspension, but procedures for doing so are expensive and cumbersome. We describe a simple, inexpensive methodology for the dewatering of sediment and present the results of two case studies. Isolation of a sufficient mass of sediment for analyses of organochlorine compounds and PAHs is obtained by in-line filtration of large volumes of water. The sediment is removed from the filters and analyzed directly by standard laboratory methods. In the first case study, suspended-sediment sampling was used to determine occurrence, loads, and yields of contaminants in urban runoff affecting biota in Town Lake, Austin, TX. The second case study used suspended-sediment sampling to locate a point source of PCBs in the Donna Canal in south Texas, where fish are contaminated with PCBs. The case studies demonstrate that suspended-sediment sampling can be an effective tool for determining the occurrence, load, and source of hydrophobic organic contaminants in transport.
Additional Publication Details
A simplified approach for monitoring hydrophobic organic contaminants associated with suspended sediment: Methodology and applications
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology