Chemical and ecotoxicological assessments of water samples before and after being processed by a Water Treatment Plant

Regina Teresa Rosim Monteiro, Gabriela Helena Silva, Tâmara Guindo Messias, Sonia Claudia Nascimento Queiroz, Marcia Regina Assalin, Debora Renata Cassoli, Carlos Henrique Rocha Alves, Antonio Carlos Ferreira, Christian Blaise


Physicochemical and ecotoxicological measurements were employed to appraise the water quality of the Corumbataí River raw water (RW) intake, and that of its filtered (FW) and treated (TW) waters, processed by the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) of Piracicaba (SP, Brazil) during 2010. Some herbicides: ametrine, atrazine, simazine and tebuthiuron, were measured, with levels ranging from 0.01 to 10.3 µg L-1. These were lower than those required to produce ecotoxicological effects to aquatic life based on published literature. Similarly, trihalomethanes, such as chloroform and bromodichloromethane produced as a result of the WTP process were also shown to be present in concentrations that would neither harm environmental nor human health. Elevated free chlorine concentrations found in FW and TW were credibly responsible for toxicity effects observed in algae and daphnids. (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and Daphnia magna). In contrast, results of toxicity testing conducted with Hydra attenuata suggested that this organism is resistant to free chorine and could be used for drinking water evaluations. Coupling bioassays with chemical analyses proved valuable to uncover putative cause-effect relationships existing between physical, chemical and toxic results, as well as in optimizing data interpretation of water quality.


herbicides residues; trihalomethanes; drinking water

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X  DOI:10.4136/1980-993X



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