Cyanobacterial hepatotoxins present a risk to public health when present in drinking water supplies. Existing removal strategies, although efficient, are not economically viable or practical for remote Australian communities and developing nations. Bank filtration is a natural process and a potential low cost, toxin removal strategy. Batch studies were conducted in 12 texturally diverse soils to examine the soil properties influencing the adsorption of the cyanobacterial hepatotoxins, microcystin-LR and nodularin. Sorption isotherms were measured. Freundlich and linear isotherms were observed for both toxins with adsorption coefficients not exceeding 2.75 l kg−1 for nodularin and 3.8 l kg−1 for microcystin. Significant positive correlations were identified between hepatotoxin sorption and clay and silt contents of the soils. Desorption of toxins was also measured in three different soils. Pure nodularin and microcystin-LR readily desorbed from all soils.

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