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Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research

Biocides used in building materials and their leaching behavior to sewer systems.


PMID 18075180

Abstract

There is increasing concern about diffuse pollution of aquatic systems by biocides used in urban areas. We investigated sources and pathways of biocides significant for the pollution of storm water runoff. Main sources seem to be building envelopes, i.e. facades (paints, plasters) and roof sealing membranes. First results from a defined urban catchment drained by a separated sewer system without any agricultural activities reveal a substantial occurrence. Even after the first flush, concentrations of terbutryn, carbendazim, mecoprop as well as Irgarol 1051 and its metabolite exceeded the Swiss water quality standard of 0.1 microg/L. In laboratory experiments, leaching of mecoprop used as a root protection agent in bitumen sheets for roof waterproofing was determined. The concentrations differed in 16 different sheets two orders of magnitude, depending on the product composition. Using optimized products, it is expected to be the most efficient and sustainable way to reduce the environmental impact. To understand transport dynamics and environmental risk, further storm water events will be analyzed. Based on the ongoing project URBIC, first measures will be proposed to limit the release to surface and ground water.