Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Water SA]]> vol. 40 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Speeding up stochastic analysis of bulk water supply systems using a compression heuristic</b>]]> It is possible to analyse the reliability of municipal storage tanks through stochastic analysis, in which the user demand, fire water demand and pipe failures are simulated using Monte Carlo analysis. While this technique could in principle be used to find the optimal size of a municipal storage tank, in practice the high computational cost of stochastic analyses made this impractical. The purpose of this study was to develop a compression heuristic technique to speed up the stochastic analysis simulations. The compression heuristic uses a pre-run to characterise the failure behaviour of a tank under demand-only conditions, and the stochastic simulations are then only run for periods in which fire demand or pipe failures affect the tank. The compression heuristic method was found to be accurate to within 5% of the full stochastic analysis method. The compression heuristic was also found to be faster than the full stochastic method when more than 27 systems were analysed, and thus allowed genetic algorithm optimisation to be practical by reducing the optimisation simulation time by 75%. <![CDATA[<b>Quality assessment and primary uses of harvested rainwater in Kleinmond, South Africa</b>]]> With an insightful policy, rainwater harvesting (RWH) can be promoted as a core adaptation strategy for achieving global water security, reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustaining water resources. The microbial and chemical quality of RWH samples collected from tanks in a sustainable housing development in Kleinmond, South Africa, were monitored. Results indicated that the tank water quality was within all the chemical standards (cations and anions) analysed for potable water. However, the counts of the indicator organisms, for example, total coliforms and Escherichia coli, exceeded the guidelines stipulated by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (1996). The microbial analysis results thus indicate that the tank water was not fit for potable use without treatment. A social research project was then conducted to describe, amongst others, the condition of the tank and the users' knowledge of the RWH system. In addition, demographic data, viz., gender, household size and employment status, etc., were gathered in order to provide a socioeconomic background description of the study population. Data were gathered by means of face-to-face interviews with 68 respondents. Generally, RWH was used for washing clothes and for cleaning inside and outside the houses. This study noted that without acceptance and necessary training to maintain and use the tank optimally, it is possible that social development projects, such as the one in Kleinmond, will not be sustainable. <![CDATA[<b>Determination of naproxen, ibuprofen and triclosan in wastewater using the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS): A laboratory calibration and field application</b>]]> In this study, the occurrence in wastewater of two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), naproxen and ibuprofen, and one personal care product, triclosan, was assessed using the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS). The samplers were initially calibrated in the laboratory to obtain sampling rates (Rs ) for each target compound followed by deployment in the influent and effluent of Goudkoppies and Northern Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs), South Africa. Exposure was done for 14 days in 2012. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system with ultraviolet (UV) and fluorescence (FLD) detectors was used to analyse POCIS extracts. Laboratory calibration of POCIS yielded R values for the three compounds that were between 0.087 and 0.383 ℓ-d-1 in quiescent conditions, and 0.125 and 0.936 ℓ-d-1 in stirred conditions. From the accumulated amounts in field-deployed samplers, estimated freely dissolved concentrations of the studied compounds in wastewater influent ranged from 55.0 to 78.4 µg-ℓ-1 and 52.3 to 127.7 µg-ℓ-1 in Goudkoppies and Northern WWTPs, respectively. Average concentrations of these compounds in the treated effluent ranged from 10.7 to 13.5 µg-ℓ-1 in Goudkoppies WWTP, and 20.4 to 24.6 µg-ℓ-1 in Northern WWTP. Analyte removal efficiencies varied between 68 and 86% in Goudkoppies WWTP and 61 and 82% in Northern WWTP. Grab samples processed by SPE method yielded higher analyte concentrations (up to three-fold) as compared to POCIS-derived estimates. This discrepancy was attributed to SPE's ability to extract both the free dissolved, and particle sorbed fractions of the contaminants. <![CDATA[<b>Determination and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in rivers, surface runoff, and sediments in and around Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, South Africa</b>]]> Water quality in rural areas is affected adversely by build-up of traffic-generated organic compounds on road surfaces, leading to their presence in water runoff and sediments. Characterising these compounds is a first step in developing measures for the removal of such pollutants from water courses. In this study, liquid-liquid extraction of water samples from several rivers and surface run-off enabled quantification of major PAHs. Soxhlet extraction of sediment samples was followed by clean-up of samples using column chromatography. The PAHs were quantified by gas chromatography. In water and sediment samples, 6 PAHs were identified and quantified. In river water samples, individual PAH levels ranged between 0.1 µg/ℓ and 137 µg/ℓ, while in sediment samples levels ranged between 17.9 µg/kg and 9870 µg/kg. For surface run-off, levels ranged between 0.6 µg/ℓ and 2 500 µg/ℓ for water samples and between 112 µg/kg and 34 400 µg/kg for sediment samples. Total levels of PAHs in sediment samples were relatively high (111.6 to 61 764 µg/kg) compared to those in water from both river and surface run-off (29.2 to 3 064.8 µg/ℓ), and PAH levels in surface runoff were much higher than in river waters, implicating tarred roads and parking lots as main point sources of PAHs. PAH ratios also indicate that the PAH content of runoff and sediment is more likely due to pyrogenic sources, i.e. vehicle emissions, although petrogenic sources (mainly oil spills) also play an important role. Toxic Equivalence Quotient (TEQ) values in river and runoff waters ranged from 0.10 to 4.03 µg/ℓ and for sediments the TEQ ranged from 0.50 to 272.23 µg/kg. These results are of concern, as the calculated TEQ is likely to be an underestimate of the actual TEQ, since only 6 PAHs with relatively low toxicities were analysed. Long droughts and low rainfall, and washing of automobiles in and near the rivers are important factors which may have contributed to the observed levels of PAHs in both river water and sediments. <![CDATA[<b>Investigating the temporal trends in PAH, PCB and OCP concentrations in Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa, using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs)</b>]]> The seasonal variability of persistent organic pollutants in Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa, was investigated using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) as passive samplers. Freely dissolved waterborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were sampled to investigate seasonal changes in their concentrations. Exposure of the passive samplers was done for 14 days at the same sampling site in each of the four seasons of the year, in 2011. The SPMD-derived analyte amounts enabled the calculation of time-weighted averages of free dissolved waterborne levels of the contaminants. Concentrations ranged from 30.0 ng∙ℓ-1 to 51.5 ng∙ℓ-1 for PAHs, 38 pg ℓ-1 to 150 pg∙ℓ-1 for PCBs, 9.2 to 10.4 ng∙ℓ-1 for HCHs and 0.3 to 0.8 ng∙ℓ-1 for DDTs, respectively. It was also noted that the winter season generally exhibited higher contaminant concentrations for most compounds studied, which likely reflects the seasonality of their atmospheric deposition. An attempt was also made to identify possible sources of PAH contaminants in the dam by examining PAH ratios. These diagnostic ratios were inclined towards pyrogenic sources of pollution, except for the winter season where both pyrogenic and petrogenic sources likely contribute to the contamination pattern.