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Fecal coliforms, caffeine and carbamazepine in stormwater collection systems in a large urban area.

Abstract : Water samples from streams, brooks and storm sewer outfall pipes that collect storm waters across the Island of Montréal were analyzed for caffeine, carbamazepine and fecal coliforms. All samples contained various concentrations of these tracers, indicating a widespread sanitary contamination in urban environments. Fecal coliforms and caffeine levels ranged over several orders of magnitude with a modest correlation between caffeine and fecal coliforms (R(2) value of 0.558). An arbitrary threshold of 400 ng caffeine L(-1) allows us to identify samples with an elevated fecal contamination, as defined by more than 200 colony-forming units per 100 mL (cfu 100 mL(-1)) of fecal coliforms. Low caffeine levels were sporadically related to high fecal coliform counts. Lower levels of caffeine and fecal coliforms were observed in the brooks while the larger streams and storm water discharge points contained over ten times more. The carbamazepine data showed little or no apparent correlation to caffeine. These data suggest that this storm water collection system, located in a highly urbanized urban environment, is widely contaminated by domestic sewers as indicated by the ubiquitous presence of fecal contaminants as well as caffeine and carbamazepine. Caffeine concentrations were relatively well correlated to fecal coliforms, and could potentially be used as a chemical indicator of the level of contamination by sanitary sources. The carbamazepine data was not significantly correlated to fecal coliforms and of little use in this dataset.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 4:16:17 PM
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Sébastien Sauvé, Khadija Aboulfadl, Sarah Dorner, Pierre Payment, Guy Deschamps, et al.. Fecal coliforms, caffeine and carbamazepine in stormwater collection systems in a large urban area.. Chemosphere, Elsevier, 2012, 86 (2), pp.118-23. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.09.033⟩. ⟨pasteur-01009277⟩



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