Quantitative analyses of selected polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in water, soil, and sediment during winter and spring seasons from Msunduzi River, South Africa
Adeyinka, Gbadebo Clement
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The lack of information and the need for knowledge on the organic pollutants within the area of KwaZulu-Natal together with the global problem of water supply have prompted our investigation into the analyses of eight polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in the Msunduzi River of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Soil, sediment, and water sampleswere collected at ten different sites along the river during winter and spring seasons. Soil and sediment samples were extracted using ultra sonication with dichloromethane while water samples were liquid-liquid extracted using dichloromethane. All sample extracts were cleaned-up using a multi-layer silica gel column and analyzed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Quality assurance measures were also determined. The percentage recoveries for water were 53–128 for all the PCBs analyzed, while sediment recoveries ranged between 69 and 105%. The highest total concentrations of the PCBs in sediment were 214.21–610.45 ng/g dw at the Du Toit sampling site and 30.86–444.43 ng/g dw basis at the wastewater treatment inlet for winter and spring, respectively. Soil PCB concentrationswere 76.53–397.75 ng/g dw at the Msunduzi Town sampling site and 20.84– 443.49 ng/g (dry weight) at the Du Toit sampling site for winter and spring, respectively. In addition, high PCB concentrations were found in effluent of the wastewater treatment inlet compared to other sampling sites, which ranged between 0.68–22.37 and 2.53–35.69 ng/ mL for winter and spring seasons, respectively. In all the sampling sites selected for this study, Du Toit afforded the highest PCB concentration levels and the lowest was after chlorination at the Darvill wastewater treatment plant. The results presented are new and it is the first study of organic pollutants such as PCBs that has been carried out on this river.
- Natural Sciences