Quantitative assessment of groundwater quality using a biological indicator: Some preliminary observations

  • R. M. Pfeil
  • J. A. Venkat
  • J. R. Plimmer
  • S. Sham
  • K. Davis
  • P. P. Nair
Article

Abstract

The genotoxicity of groundwater was evaluated, using a novel application of the SOS microplate assay (SOSMA). Organic residues were extracted from groundwater samples from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware by using C-18 bonded silica solid phase extraction tubes. Total organic carbon content (TOC) of water samples was also determined. The genotoxicity of the extracts was determined by the SOSMA. Relative activity (RA) as determined by the SOSMA is a quantitative measure of genotoxicity based on a comparison to the activity of the mutagen, 4-nitroquinoline oxide. Low levels of RA (about 2× background) were detected in waters from sites within these states. There was considerable temporal and spatial variation in the observed RA, but no definite patterns were observed in the variation. Between sampling sites there was a positive correlation between RA and TOC; however, this relationship appeared to be reversed occasionally within a sampling site. The extraction and bioassay methods provide an easy and relatively inexpensive means of determining water quality.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Pfeil
    • 1
  • J. A. Venkat
    • 2
  • J. R. Plimmer
    • 3
  • S. Sham
    • 4
    • 5
  • K. Davis
    • 4
    • 5
  • P. P. Nair
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, Natural Resources Institute, U.S. Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research ServiceBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.U. S. Patent OfficeArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.ABC LaboratoriesColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Lipid Nutrition Laboratory, Human Nutrition Research Center, U.S. Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research ServiceBeltsvilleUSA
  5. 5.The Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, and The Department of BiochemistryThe Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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