Mass fluxes of xenobiotics below cities: challenges in urban hydrogeology
Urban areas are the focus of major ecological, social and economical activity. They are thus also prime locations of increasing conflict with regard to water use and water protection. As a direct and/or indirect consequence of urban land use and human activity, urban water systems are frequently polluted with organic contaminants including waste water-born xenobiotics such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products (collectively known as PPCPs) and endocrine-active substances. This study reviews new integrated methodologies including flux calculations as well as chemical investigations for determining the impact of human activities on urban water systems and on processes within the urban watershed. The use of indicator substances, representing different contaminant sources and pathways, integral pumping tests and mass balance approaches are suitable alternatives within these environments. The issues are explored using contaminant mass balance examples from Halle/Saale and Leipzig, Germany.
KeywordsLeaky sewers Mass balance Micropollutants PPCP Urban groundwater Urban hydrogeology
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