Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT) is a quantitative, passive monitoring technique that can be used to measure concentrations of trace species in situ in solutions. Its potential for tracing metals pollution in the sewer system has been investigated by placing the DGT devices into sewage pumping stations and into manholes, to measure the concentration of certain metals in the catchment of a sewage treatment works with a known metals problem. In addition the methodology and procedure of using the DGT technique in sewers was investigated. Parameters such as temperature and pH were measured to ensure they were within the limits required by the DGT devices, and the optimum deployment time was examined. It was found that although the results given by the DGT technique could not be considered to be fully quantitative, they could be used to identify locations that were showing an excess concentration of metals, and hence trace pollution back to its source. The DGT technique is ‘user friendly’ and requires no complicated equipment for deployment or collection, and minimal training for use. It is thought that this is the first time that the DGT technique has been used in situ in sewers for metals pollution tracing.

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