Special Issue "Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Barra Caracciolo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council, Water Research Institute (IRSA-CNR), Rome, Italy
Interests: environmental fate and effects of xenobiotics; water and soil ecology; microbial ecology; biodegradation; bioremediation; ecotoxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Freshwater aquatic ecosystems are a small fraction of the overall water on the planet, and for this reason they are a precious resource for both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. However, these water ecosystems are chronically subjected to a multiple contamination by various point and diffuse industrial, urban, and agricultural sources. A cocktail of regulated hazardous chemicals (e.g., pesticides, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, surfactants), commercial products, and emerging contaminants (e.g., nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, micro(nano)plastics) reach freshwater and can have detrimental effects on the structure and functioning of ecosystems and human health.

This Special Issue welcomes research papers dealing with chemical, microbiological, ecological, and ecotoxicological approaches for assessing the presence of regulated and emerging contaminants and their effects from their sources (e.g., urban- and agro-ecosystems, industrial sites, landfills) to water ecosystems.

Dr. Anna Barra Caracciolo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water and soil contaminants
  • persistence and pseudo-persistence
  • chemical mixture
  • effects
  • community structure and functioning
  • biodegradation
  • bioremediation

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Editorial
Special Issue: Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment
Water 2021, 13(10), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101350 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Most of the Earth’s surface (71%) is covered with water, and the oceans hold about 96 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Effects of Sulfamethoxazole on Growth and Antibiotic Resistance of A Natural Microbial Community
Water 2021, 13(9), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091262 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 462
Abstract
Diffuse environmental antibiotic and antibiotic resistance gene contamination is increasing human and animal exposure to these emerging compounds with a consequent risk of reduction in antibiotic effectiveness. The present work investigated the effect of the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole (SMX) on growth and antibiotic resistance [...] Read more.
Diffuse environmental antibiotic and antibiotic resistance gene contamination is increasing human and animal exposure to these emerging compounds with a consequent risk of reduction in antibiotic effectiveness. The present work investigated the effect of the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole (SMX) on growth and antibiotic resistance genes of a microbial community collected from an anaerobic digestion plant fed with cattle manure. Digestate samples were used as inoculum for concentration-dependent experiments using SMX at various concentrations. The antibiotic concentrations affecting the mixed microbial community in terms of growth and spread of resistant genes (sul1, sul2) were investigated through OD (Optical Density) measures and qPCR assays. Moreover, SMX biodegradation was assessed by LC-MS/MS analysis. The overall results showed that SMX concentrations in the range of those found in the environment did not affect the microbial community growth and did not select for antibiotic-resistant gene (ARG) maintenance or spread. Furthermore, the microorganisms tested were able to degrade SMX in only 24 h. This study confirms the complexity of antibiotic resistance spread in real matrices where different microorganisms coexist and suggests that antibiotic biodegradation needs to be included for fully understanding the resistance phenomena among bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Trace Element Contamination in One of the Yangtze Tributaries (Hunan, China)—Source Review and Potential Release from Sediments
Water 2021, 13(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030271 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 526
Abstract
Spatio-temporal distribution and leachability of some trace elements (TE) were investigated in sediments of the Xiangjiang River, tributary of the Yangtze River. Based on data collected during 2015–2017, a literature review and geoaccumulation indexes, the pollution level was the highest for Cd, Sb [...] Read more.
Spatio-temporal distribution and leachability of some trace elements (TE) were investigated in sediments of the Xiangjiang River, tributary of the Yangtze River. Based on data collected during 2015–2017, a literature review and geoaccumulation indexes, the pollution level was the highest for Cd, Sb and Hg (Igeo > 3). Over the period reviewed, the TE contamination level displayed almost no temporal variation but an obvious spatial distribution. The most upstream contamination hotspot (Cd > Cr > As, Cu, Pb, Zn > Hg, Sb) was the Songbai section. This hotspot did not spread further downstream. The second hotspot identified was the Zhuzhou–Xiangtan section, impacted by Cd > Hg, Pb, Zn > Cu, with the Zhuzhou area being particularly highly impacted by Pb and Zn. A 30-day leaching experimental protocol under aerobic and anaerobic conditions was carried out to access TE mobility. Low percentages of TE released were calculated, showing that the TE fate mostly depends on the stability of bearing phases under specific physicochemical and microbial conditions. In this case, the studied sediments can be an important sink for these TE. However, some environmental issues have to be considered as some leachate concentrations of contaminants (As, Cr, Cu and U) released into water exceed freshwater aquatic life criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mesocosm Experiments at a Tunnelling Construction Site for Assessing Re-Use of Spoil Material as a By-Product
Water 2021, 13(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020161 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 562
Abstract
Mechanized excavation of tunnels with Earth Pressure Balance-Tunnel Boring Machines requires the use of foaming agents. The latter contain the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES) as the main compound. The re-use as a by-product of excavated soil containing foaming agents (spoil [...] Read more.
Mechanized excavation of tunnels with Earth Pressure Balance-Tunnel Boring Machines requires the use of foaming agents. The latter contain the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES) as the main compound. The re-use as a by-product of excavated soil containing foaming agents (spoil material) can pose a risk for soil and particularly for aquatic ecosystems if they are close to the spoil material final destination site. This work reports the chemical results (SLES residual concentrations) and ecotoxicological effects (battery of five tests) of 28 day-mesocosm studies performed at a tunnelling construction site. The soil mesocosms were set up with two different lithologies, which contained four different foaming agent products at the highest amounts used for excavation. The decrease in SLES concentrations and the ecotoxicological tests were performed in soil and its water extract (elutriate) at different times (0, 7, 14, 28 d). Elutriates were prepared in order to simulate a possible SLES leaching from soil to water. The results showed a decrease in SLES over time and different ecotoxicological responses depending not only on the initial amount of each product, but also on the soil lithology and organism tested (aquatic or terrestrial). This study showed how only site-specific ecotoxicological evaluations can ensure a safe management of the spoil material, making possible the re-use of soil and avoiding production of waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Fate of Trace Organic Compounds in Hyporheic Zone Sediments of Contrasting Organic Carbon Content and Impact on the Microbiome
Water 2020, 12(12), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123518 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 526
Abstract
The organic carbon in streambed sediments drives multiple biogeochemical reactions, including the attenuation of organic micropollutants. An attenuation assay using sediment microcosms differing in the initial total organic carbon (TOC) revealed higher microbiome and sorption associated removal efficiencies of trace organic compounds (TrOCs) [...] Read more.
The organic carbon in streambed sediments drives multiple biogeochemical reactions, including the attenuation of organic micropollutants. An attenuation assay using sediment microcosms differing in the initial total organic carbon (TOC) revealed higher microbiome and sorption associated removal efficiencies of trace organic compounds (TrOCs) in the high-TOC compared to the low-TOC sediments. Overall, the combined microbial and sorption associated removal efficiencies of the micropollutants were generally higher than by sorption alone for all compounds tested except propranolol whose removal efficiency was similar via both mechanisms. Quantitative real-time PCR and time-resolved 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed that higher bacterial abundance and diversity in the high-TOC sediments correlated with higher microbial removal efficiencies of most TrOCs. The bacterial community in the high-TOC sediment samples remained relatively stable against the stressor effects of TrOC amendment compared to the low-TOC sediment community that was characterized by a decline in the relative abundance of most phyla except Proteobacteria. Bacterial genera that were significantly more abundant in amended relative to unamended sediment samples and thus associated with biodegradation of the TrOCs included Xanthobacter, Hyphomicrobium, Novosphingobium, Reyranella and Terrimonas. The collective results indicated that the TOC content influences the microbial community dynamics and associated biotransformation of TrOCs as well as the sorption potential of the hyporheic zone sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Environmental Fate and Effects of Foaming Agents Containing Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate in Soil Debris from Mechanized Tunneling
Water 2020, 12(8), 2074; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082074 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
A wide use of foaming agents as lubricants is required in mechanized tunneling. Their main component, the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES), can remain in residual concentrations in soil debris, influencing their potential reuse as by-product. This study aimed at evaluating [...] Read more.
A wide use of foaming agents as lubricants is required in mechanized tunneling. Their main component, the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES), can remain in residual concentrations in soil debris, influencing their potential reuse as by-product. This study aimed at evaluating the environmental fate and effects of a foaming product used for conditioning soils collected from real excavation sites, in the presence/absence of an anti-clogging polymer, both containing SLES. Soil microcosm experiments were set-up and incubated for 28 days. Over time, soils and their water extracts (elutriates) were collected to perform both ecotoxicological tests (Vibrio fischeri, Lepidium sativum, Eisenia foetida, Hetereocypris incongruens, Danio rerio) and SLES analysis. The results showed that, just after conditioning, SLES did not exert any hazardous effect on the organisms tested except for the bacterium V. fischeri, which was the most sensitive to its presence. However, from day seven the toxic effect on the bacterium was never observed thanks to the SLES decrease in the elutriates (<2 mg/L). SLES degraded in soils (half-lives from 9 to 25 days) with higher disappearance rates corresponding to higher values of microbial abundances. This study highlights the importance of site-specific studies for assessing the environmental reuse of spoil materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Trophic Magnification of Legacy (PCB, DDT and Hg) and Emerging Pollutants (PFAS) in the Fish Community of a Small Protected Southern Alpine Lake (Lake Mergozzo, Northern Italy)
Water 2020, 12(6), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061591 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
The biomagnification of mercury, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs) and perfluoroalkyl acids substances (PFASs) was evaluated in the trophic web of Lake Mergozzo, a small and deep Italian subalpine lake, which has been chosen because it is a protected environment, and [...] Read more.
The biomagnification of mercury, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs) and perfluoroalkyl acids substances (PFASs) was evaluated in the trophic web of Lake Mergozzo, a small and deep Italian subalpine lake, which has been chosen because it is a protected environment, and discharges into the lake are mostly avoided. Carbon source and relative trophic levels were calculated by using 13C and 15N stable isotopes, respectively, and trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were derived. Zooplankton and thirteen species of fish were collected and analyzed, and the results showed the elevated level of biota contamination from both legacy and emerging pollutants, even if direct discharges were avoided. Concentrations in biota, expressed as sums of compounds, ranged from 0.4 to 60 µg kg−1 wet weight (ww) for PFASs, from 16 to 1.3 104 µg kg−1 lipid content (lw) for DDTs, from 17 to 1.5 104 µg kg−1 lw for PCBs and from 20.0 to 501 µg kg−1 ww for mercury (Hg). TMFs of this deep, cold lake, with a prevalent pelagic trophic chain, were high and clearly indicated fish biomagnification, except for PFAS. The biomagnification capability of PFAS in a fish-only food web was discussed by using the biomagnification of Hg as a benchmark for assessing their bioaccumulation potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Hydrochemical Data and Stable Isotopes of Groundwater Contaminated with Nitrate at Huay Sai Royal Development Study Center and Adjacent Areas in Phetchaburi Province, Thailand
Water 2020, 12(4), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041127 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
Due to the continuous expansion in agriculture production and industry for many years, groundwater usage has been increasing, with a decrease in groundwater levels in many cases. In addition, in some areas, groundwater quality has degraded due to agrochemical contamination from agricultural areas. [...] Read more.
Due to the continuous expansion in agriculture production and industry for many years, groundwater usage has been increasing, with a decrease in groundwater levels in many cases. In addition, in some areas, groundwater quality has degraded due to agrochemical contamination from agricultural areas. The aims of this research pertains to aquifers as follows: (1) to evaluate hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater using multivariate statistical analysis, including principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and (2) to integrate the stable isotopes 18O and 2H with hydrochemical data to evaluate the origin of the groundwater and indirectly identify the pollution sources of groundwater contaminated with nitrate (NO3). Water samples were collected from 60 groundwater wells with different hydrogeological characteristics and land use types in both the rainy season (in October) and the summer seasons (in February) in the Cha Am district of Phetchaburi Province. The groundwater was separated into 3 types: Ca-Na-Cl, Ca-Na-HCO3-Cl, and Na-Cl. Two groundwater wells (no. 19 and 41), which were located southeast and southwest of the study area, had relatively high NO3 concentrations (47 mg/L NO3 and 50 mg/L NO3, respectively) that were higher than the groundwater quality standards. These two wells corresponded to the second group that was exposed by HCA. The PCA results revealed the influence of seawater intrusion. Furthermore, multivariate statistical analysis (PC 2) revealed that the NO3 that is mainly released from potassium nitrate (KNO3), for example, during pineapple cultivation, directly contaminated the groundwater system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Combined Effects of Compost and Medicago Sativa in Recovery a PCB Contaminated Soil
Water 2020, 12(3), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030860 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
The effectiveness of adding compost and the plant Medicago sativa in improving the quality of a soil historically contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was tested in greenhouse microcosms. Plant pots, containing soil samples from an area contaminated by PCBs, were treated with the [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of adding compost and the plant Medicago sativa in improving the quality of a soil historically contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was tested in greenhouse microcosms. Plant pots, containing soil samples from an area contaminated by PCBs, were treated with the compost and the plant, separately or together. Moreover, un-treated and un-planted microcosms were used as controls. At fixed times (1, 133 and 224 days), PCBs were analysed and the structure (cell abundance, phylogenetic characterization) and functioning (cell viability, dehydrogenase activity) of the natural microbial community were also measured. The results showed the effectiveness of the compost and plant in increasing the microbial activity, cell viability, and bacteria/fungi ratio, and in decreasing the amount of higher-chlorinated PCBs. Moreover, a higher number of α-Proteobacteria, one of the main bacterial groups involved in the degradation of PCBs, was found in the compost and plant co-presence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Review
Occurrence and Fate of Emerging Pollutants in Water Environment and Options for Their Removal
Water 2021, 13(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020181 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
Emerging pollutants (EPs) are chemicals known to cause major impacts on the terrestrial, aquatic life and human health as a result of their chronic and acute toxicity. Although lots of studies on EPs behavior in the aquatic environment are currently available in literature, [...] Read more.
Emerging pollutants (EPs) are chemicals known to cause major impacts on the terrestrial, aquatic life and human health as a result of their chronic and acute toxicity. Although lots of studies on EPs behavior in the aquatic environment are currently available in literature, an urgent requirement exists to complete toxicological studies and develop and implement efficient and ecological methods for their removal. This paper raises some relevant problems related to water environment pollution with EPs, the risks they can generate for aquatic life and humans and opportunities to reduce the effects of pollution by EPs removal. Categories of emerging chemicals of concern in the environment, their sources, fate and impacts, with some examples are discussed. Organic UV filters are shortly presented as a relative new EPs category, with a focus on the need to develop extensive experimental studies on their environmental occurrence, fate and removal. Furthermore, sources for the aquatic environment resulting from discharging EPs directly into rivers from wastewater treatment plants are examined. The incidence of environmental and human health risks related to EPs is also considered. The removal of EPs from the environment as a solution to risk mitigation is addressed, with emphasis on several non-conventional processes involving biological removal of EPs. The paper provides a critical look at the current challenges posed by the presence of emerging pollutants in the aquatic environment, with critical comments and recommendations for further research to reduce the impact of EPs on water and human health and improve the performance of developed methods for their removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Other

Case Report
An Eighteen Year Temporal Trends Analysis of Bifenthrin Sediment Concentrations in California Waterbodies
Water 2020, 12(9), 2402; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092402 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 457
Abstract
The goal of this study was to conduct long-term temporal trends analysis of bifenthrin sediment concentrations for measurements conducted from 2001 to 2019 in California waterbodies. Long-term data sites defined as spanning 6 years were available for 143 sites but 17 of these [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to conduct long-term temporal trends analysis of bifenthrin sediment concentrations for measurements conducted from 2001 to 2019 in California waterbodies. Long-term data sites defined as spanning 6 years were available for 143 sites but 17 of these sites were excluded from long analysis because all measurements were below the level of detection. At least one site used in the trends analysis was located in all nine California Water Board Regions thus providing a representative statewide spatial scale. Twenty of the 126 long-term California sediment sites showed a statistically significant downward trend in bifenthrin concentrations while nine sites showed a statistically significant upward trend. Declining bifenthrin sediment concentrations were most evident in urban waterbodies when compared with agricultural dominated waterbodies. An analysis of bifenthrin long-term sediment trends by waterbody with at least three sites showed a significant trend for only one residential/urban stream and this trend was declining. In summary, the trends analysis of bifenthrin sediment concentrations does show a compelling case for declining concentrations in the State of California during an 18-year time period that includes a time period before and after the urban use of bifenthrin was further regulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop