Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Clarke, R., Peyton, D., Healy, M.G., Fenton, O., Cummins, E.
Science Of The Total Environment
A quantitative risk assessment for metals in surface water following the application of biosolids to grassland.
WOS: 7 ()
Optional Fields
biosolids; drinking water; metals; risk
During episodic rainfall events, land application of treated municipal sludge (‘biosolids’) may give rise to surface runoff of metals, which may be potentially harmful to human health if not fully treated in a water treatment plant (WTP). This study used surface runoff water quality data generated from a field-scale study in which three types of biosolids (anaerobically digested (AD), lime stabilised (LS), and thermally dried (TD)) were spread on micro-plots of land and subjected to three rainfall events at time intervals of 24, 48 and 360 hr following application. Making the assumption that this water directly entered abstraction waters for a WTP without any grassed buffer zone being present, accounting for stream dilution, and modelling various performance scenarios within the WTP, the aim of this research was to conduct a human health risk assessment of metals (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr), which may still be present in drinking water after the WTP. Different dose-response relationships were characterised for the different metals with reference to the Lifetime Average Daily Dose (LADD) and the Hazard Quotient (HQ). The results for the LADD show that child exposure concentrations were highest for Cu when the measured surface runoff concentrations from the LS biosolids treatment were used as input into the model. The results for the HQ showed that of all the scenarios considered, Cu had the highest HQ for children. However, values were below the threshold value of risk (HQ < 0.01 - no existing risk). Under the conditions monitored, metal concentrations in the biosolids applied to grassland were not considered to result in a risk to human health in surface water systems.
Grant Details
EPA Strive
Publication Themes