Copper Speciation in Wastewater-Impacted Surface Waters Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4j03d3124

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  • This study investigates the relationship between total and ionic copper in samples taken from the Tualatin River and wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs) that discharge into the Tualatin River. Copper speciation was analyzed by determining conditional stability constants and densities of copper binding ligands on the dissolved organic matter (DOM) in each sample using a two-ligand model. Differences in copper binding between wastewater and river water were identified, changes in copper binding following the mixing of WWTF effluent and receiving waters were observed, and the ability of the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) to predict copper speciation in each sample was determined. WWTF effluent samples were found to bind copper more strongly than river water samples through a larger conditional stability constant for the strong binding site. At low dilution ratios, copper binding characteristics in waters downstream of WWTF outfalls deviated from those of upstream waters by approaching the WWTF effluent characteristics for copper binding. The BLM adequately predicted copper speciation in waters without a high percentage of WWTF effluent, but overpredicted ionic copper concentrations in effluent and downstream waters during low-flow by as much as 2-3 orders of magnitude. The differences observed highlight the need to account for WWTF DOM in the BLM framework.
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