The objective of this study was to identify organic compounds that could serve as indicators of potential human fecal contamination sources to the Kranji Reservoir in Singapore and could be used as confirmation indicators along with bacteria indicators. The compounds chosen as potential tracers were nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), as these are indicative of sewage and have been found at measurable concentrations in rivers and streams elsewhere in Asia. Polyethylene devices (PEDs) were used as passive samplers to measure NP and NPEs in stormwater drains in Kranji Catchment, deployed in areas of different land use in order to obtain an overview of concentration ranges across the catchment and provide an indication of where and why these compounds could be found. Laboratory results showed that NP and NPEs were present in non-residential areas and preliminary modeling of corresponding water concentrations indicates potentially risky concentrations of NP in the water in some stormwater drains. More information is needed on detergents in Singapore to further evaluate using NPEs as sewage indicators. Future studies should be done to confirm concentrations in Kranji Catchment water to verify if there is a risk to the ecosystem's health as NP and NPEs are known endocrine disruptors.
Water quality studies in Kranji catchment, Singapore: use of organic tracers and polyethylene devices for identifying potential sewage sources
A. R. Mendez Sagel, P. Shanahan, J. K. MacFarlane, P. M. Gschwend; Water quality studies in Kranji catchment, Singapore: use of organic tracers and polyethylene devices for identifying potential sewage sources. Water Practice and Technology 1 June 2012; 7 (2): wpt2012040. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wpt.2012.040
Download citation file: