Chemical qualities of harvested rainwater were assessed at two residential study sites on the east coast of Australia in relation to coastal proximity and surrounding land uses over the course of a winter and summer month. Daily rainwater samples were collected from the base outlet and surface levels of stored water for chemical analyses. High resolution inductively coupled plasma—mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to analyse 26 elements in all samples. The summer sampling regime for the industrial coastal Site 1 was dominated by wind gusts originating from the east with a total average elemental load of 25,900 ± 17,000 μg/L compared to the significantly lower 10,600 ± 3,370 μg/L measured during the winter month, where 84% of wind gust events originated from the west. Data for the inland Site 2, with no proximity to industry, revealed no significant changes in total average loads between the winter (4,870 ± 578 μg/L) and summer (4,760 ± 2,280 μg/L) months. The most abundant elements found at both sites included Na, K, Mg, and Zn. The rainwater storages at Site 2 fed from a relatively new concrete tiled roof catchment had significantly lower pH and conductivity measurements compared with those at Site 1 with an old galvanised iron roof catchment. It was concluded that seasonal differences in harvested water quality were likely influenced by prevailing wind direction and external influences such as surrounding land uses and proximity to the coast.
Investigating the influences of season and coastal proximity on the elemental composition of harvested rainwater
A. R. Martin, P. J. Coombes, R. H. Dunstan; Investigating the influences of season and coastal proximity on the elemental composition of harvested rainwater. Water Sci Technol 1 January 2010; 61 (1): 25–36. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2010.775
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