Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/929393
- Elemental composition at different points of the rainwater harvesting system
Morrow, A. C.;
Dunstan, R. H.;
Coombes, P. J.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Science & Information Technology, School of Environmental and Life Sciences
- Entry of contaminants, such as metals and non-metals, into rainwater harvesting systems can occur directly from rainfall with contributions from collection surfaces, accumulated debris and leachate from storage systems, pipes and taps. Ten rainwater harvesting systems on the east coast of Australia were selected for sampling of roof runoff, storage systems and tap outlets to investigate the variations in rainwater composition as it moved throughout the system, and to identify potential points of contribution to elemental loads. A total of 26 elements were screened at each site. Iron was the only element which was present in significantly higher concentrations in roof runoff samples compared with tank tap samples (P < 0.05). At one case study site, results suggested that piping and tap material can contribute to contaminant loads of harvested rainwater. Increased loads of copper were observed in hot tap samples supplied by the rainwater harvesting system via copper piping and a storage hot water system (P < 0.05). Similarly, zinc, lead, arsenic, strontium and molybdenum were significantly elevated in samples collected from a polyvinyl chloride pipe sampling point that does not supply household uses, compared with corresponding roof runoff samples (P < 0.05). Elemental composition was also found to vary significantly between the tank tap and an internal cold tap at one of the sites investigated, with several elements fluctuating significantly between the two outlets of interest at this site, including potassium, zinc, manganese, barium, copper, vanadium, chromium and arsenic. These results highlighted the variability in the elemental composition of collected rainwater between different study sites and between different sampling points. Atmospheric deposition was not a major contributor to the rainwater contaminant load at the sites tested. Piping materials, however, were shown to contribute significantly to the total elemental load at some locations.
- Science of the Total Environment Vol. 408, Issue 20, p. 4542-4548
- Publisher Link
rainwater harvesting system;
- Resource Type
- journal article