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Special Issue "Innovative Methods for Monitoring and Assessment of Contaminants in Aquatic Ecosystems"

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Roberto Spurio

School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino (MC), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: characterization of bacterial nucleoid proteins; development of DNA macroarrays for the identification of biological indicators in freshwater samples; selection of microorganisms for bio-industrial applications
Guest Editor
Dr. Stefania Marcheggiani

Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, Rome, Environment and Health Department, Roma, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental molecular microbiology; characterization of microorganisms on surface water and sediment; biological indicators; water quality assessment; DNA microarrays for the identification of emerging and re-emerging pathogens in water samples
Guest Editor
Dr. Mario Carere

Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, Rome, Environment and Health Department, Roma, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evaluation of the risks caused by chemical pollution in the aquatic environments; application of effect based methods in the monitoring programs of surface water bodies
Guest Editor
Dr. Tobias Licha

Department of Applied Geology, Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: innovative chemical analytical methods to detect organic compounds in the water cycle; interpretation of emerging contaminants as indicators to detect sources and processes on catchment scale; transport behavior of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A large majority of surface and ground water bodies, which are key resources for the sustainability of the environment and for human communities, are subjected to chemical and microbiological pollution.

Among the chemical contaminants, those of concern include metals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, but also emerging categories, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and nanomaterials; these compounds can form mixtures whose effects are often unknown. Therefore, ecotoxicological methods are needed for the detection of the effects of chemical pollution alongside their chemical analysis.

The emergence of water-related diseases is a complex process involving social, biological and ecological factors. The reasons why pathogens emerge or re-emerge may be grouped under four major categories: i) new environments (including the influence of climate changes and the spread of antibiotic resistance), ii) new technologies, iii) scientific advances, which provide improved assays and more sensitive detection methods, iv) changes in human behavior and vulnerability.

Water-borne infectious diseases, a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, are caused by ‘classical’ pathogens or by newly recognized bacteria, viruses and parasites, such as Salmonella spp, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella, E. coli O157:H7, Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Giardia and enteric viruses. Once the disease-causing microorganism is present in the environment, to evaluate the risk for human and animal health it is necessary to take into account the interplay of three factors responsible for the infective dose: latency, multiplication rates and persistence in the aquatic ecosystems.

Despite the strict rules set by government authorities (e.g., in Europe the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC), and by international guidelines (WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, Water Safety Plans) for the monitoring and management of water bodies, in recent years adverse effects related to the presence of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems have significantly spread out, resulting in an increased risk to human health and/or to aquatic ecosystem integrity. Thus, the ability to monitor the presence of pollutants is of growing concern, requiring dedicated research activities. Nowadays, technology provides sophisticated tools (i.e., high-throughput DNA sequencing methods) for monitoring water quality. However, there is a strong need for less expensive, faster and more accurate methods and specific efforts are required for the development of detection systems that could follow the variations of contaminant load over time.

This Special Issue is planned to present the state-of-the-art and the latest techniques and methodologies in the field of monitoring and assessment of aquatic ecosystems. Its overarching goal is to provide a framework to detect and quantify pollutants and to highlight a number of key challenges that lie ahead a correct estimation of their presence in water bodies.

Dr. Roberto Spurio
Dr. Stefania Marcheggiani
Dr. Mario Carere
Dr. Tobias Licha
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • assessment methods
  • analytical tools
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • microbiological and chemical contaminants
  • ecotoxicology
  • emerging contaminants

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Optimum Water Quality Monitoring Network Design for Bidirectional River Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020195
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Affected by regular tides, bidirectional water flows play a crucial role in surface river systems. Using optimization theory to design a water quality monitoring network can reduce the redundant monitoring nodes as well as save the costs for building and running a monitoring
[...] Read more.
Affected by regular tides, bidirectional water flows play a crucial role in surface river systems. Using optimization theory to design a water quality monitoring network can reduce the redundant monitoring nodes as well as save the costs for building and running a monitoring network. A novel algorithm is proposed to design an optimum water quality monitoring network for tidal rivers with bidirectional water flows. Two optimization objectives of minimum pollution detection time and maximum pollution detection probability are used in our optimization algorithm. We modify the Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) algorithm and develop new fitness functions to calculate pollution detection time and pollution detection probability in a discrete manner. In addition, the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) is used to simulate hydraulic characteristics and pollution events based on a hypothetical river system studied in the literature. Experimental results show that our algorithm can obtain a better Pareto frontier. The influence of bidirectional water flows to the network design is also identified, which has not been studied in the literature. Besides that, we also find that the probability of bidirectional water flows has no effect on the optimum monitoring network design but slightly changes the mean pollution detection time. Full article

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Use of an Ex Situ Method Combined with QuEChERS to Assess the Influence of Wastewater on Biota in the Receiving Stream
Authors: Sarah Könemann 1,*, Yvonne Müller 1, Henner Hollert 1, Pedro Inostroza 2, Martin Krauss 2, Werner Brack 2, Ira Brückner 3, Kassandra Klaer 4, Johannes Pinnekamp 4 and Sabrina Schiwy 1
Affiliations: 1 Institute for Environmental Research, Rheinisch-Westfälisch Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, Worringerweg 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2 Hemlholtz Institute for Environmental Research UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
3 Waterboard Eifel-Rur, Eisenbahnstrasse 5, 52353 Düren, Germany
4 Insitute of Environmental Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Strasse 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany
* Correspondence: sarah.koenemann@rwth-aachen.de, Tel.: 0041587655254
Abstract: To decrease, or even fully prevent the release of micropollutants into the environment qarternary treatment methods, like ozonation, are currently tested in several wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In the course of the DemO3 -Project, a full-scale ozonation is planned to be built at the WWTP Soers in Aachen, Germany. A crucial part of this project is the evaluation of the ecological and chemical state of the receiving stream, the River Wurm. To be able to determine the impact of untreated and ozonated waste water on the state of the stream, the evaluation is conducted before and after the implementation. As a rather new ecotoxicological method, “quick easy cheap effective rugged and safe” approach (QuEChERS) combined with chemical analysis were used to determine the internal concentrations of waste water-borne chemicals in biota. Information obtained from these experiments complements data obtained from the chemical analysis of water samples and bioassays which are predominantly covering hydrophilic substances.
Keywords: micropollutants, waste water, waste water treatment, in situ, feeding rate inhibition, QuEChERS, internal concentrations, biota analysis

Title: Electrochemical Analyzer for On-Site Determination of Dissolved Organic Carbon—Development and Field Testing
Heinrich Glorian 1,*, Viktor Schmalz 1, Paweł Lochyński 2, Paul Fremdling 1, Hilmar Börnick 1, Eckhard Worch 1, Thomas Dittmar 1
1 Institute of Water Chemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
2 Institute of Environmental Engineering, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wrocław, Poland
* Heinrich.Glorian@tu-dresden.de, tel.: +49 351 46336140, fax: +49 351 46337271
Abstract: The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a sum parameter with extensive information value. Highly time-resolved and accurate DOC data are necessary, especially for water quality monitoring and the evaluation of the efficiency of treatment processes. Beneficial for this kind of data acquisition is a reliable on-site determination method. The known conventional DOC determination methods consists of on-site sampling and subsequent analysis in a stationary laboratory. Especially in regions where no or only poorly equipped laboratories are available, this approach bears the risk of getting wrong results. For this reason the objective of the present study is to set up a reliable and portable DOC-analyzer for on-site or at least near site analysis. The presented DOC system is equipped with an electrolysis decomposition cell based on boron-doped diamond technology. Within this study the influence of different electrode materials and basic electrolytes on the DOC decomposition in an undivided electrolytic cell is systematically investigated. Furthermore some technical aspects of the portable prototype are discussed. After a detailed validation, the prototype was used in an ongoing monitoring program in Northern India. The key features of the portable DOC analyzer are: no need for ultra-pure gases, catalysts or burning technology, an analyzing time per sample below 7 minutes and reliable on-site determination.
DOC, on-site analysis, electro-oxidation, BDD, hydroxyl radicals, in-situ carrier gas

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