Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in effluents from wastewater treatment plants and receiving streams in Tianjin, China
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Surface water, suspended particulate matter, pore water, and sediment samples were collected and analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Yongding New River, South Drainage Canal and North Drainage Canal, which receive most of wastewater from industrial city of Tianjin. PAH concentrations in effluent samples of wastewater treatment plants (WTP) discharging into the South Drainage Canal and North Drainage Canal were quantified for the first time. The results showed that the discharge of the WTPs recently only contributed to the PAH contamination in the canals near the outlets of the WTPs. PAH levels in sediments of the streams were greatly higher than those in soils by riverbank probably due to receiving large amounts of untreated wastewater. Unusually high benz[a] anthracene concentration strongly influenced the seasonal and spatial variation of total PAH concentrations in South Drainage Canal. Paired samples t test of ∑Nap, Fl, Phe, Fluo and ∑Nap, Phe, Fluo, Chry concentrations, which were dominant components in the air samples from non-heating and heating season, respectively, in the suspended particulate matters from the streams showed that PAH source from air deposition was more important for Yongding New River than that for South Drainage Canal and North Drainage Canal. Source apportionment based on PAH profiles indicated that coal combustion was the major PAH contamination source, and coke oven sources and wood combustion also contributed to the PAH contamination of the streams. This was further indicated by organic petrography analysis.
KeywordsPolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Wastewater treatment plants PAH profile Organic petrography
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