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Assessment of heavy metals in loose deposits in drinking water distribution system

Liu, Quanli, Han, Weiqiang, Han, Bingjun, Shu, Min, Shi, Baoyou
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2018 v.190 no.7 pp. 388
arsenic, bicarbonates, cadmium, chromium, copper, drinking water, guidelines, heavy metals, iron, lead, manganese, pH, phosphates, risk, sediments, toxicity, water distribution, water quality
Heavy metal accumulation and potential releases from loose deposits in drinking water distribution system (DWDS) can have critical impacts on drinking water safety, but the associated risks have not been sufficiently evaluated. In this work, the potential biological toxicity of heavy metals in loose deposits was calculated based on consensus-based sediment quality guidelines, and the effects of some of the main water quality parameters, such as the pH and bicarbonate and phosphate content, on the release behaviors of pre-accumulated heavy metals were investigated. The results showed that heavy metals (Cu, As, Cr, Pb, and Cd) significantly accumulated in all the samples, but the contents of the heavy metals were multiple magnitudes lower than the Fe and Mn contents. The potential biotoxicity of As and Cu was relatively high, but the biotoxicity of Cd was negligible. The water quality can significantly influence the release of heavy metals from loose deposits. As the pH increased from 7.0 to 9.0, the release of As and Cr obviously increased. The release of As, Cu, Pb, and Cr also accelerated with the addition of phosphate (from 1 to 5 mg/L). In contrast to the trends for the pH and phosphate, variations in the bicarbonate content did not have a significant influence on the release of As and Cr. The release ratios of heavy metals in the samples were very low, and there was not a correlation between the release rate of the heavy metals in the loose deposits and their potential biotoxicity.