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Methods for evaluating the pollution impact of urban wet weather discharges on biocenosis: A review

Abstract : Rainwater becomes loaded with a large number of pollutants when in contact with the atmosphere and urban surfaces. These pollutants (such as metals, pesticides, PAHs, PCBs) reduce the quality of water bodies. As it is now acknowledged that physico-chemical analyses alone are insufficient for identifying an ecological impact, these analyses are frequently completed or replaced by impact studies communities living in freshwater ecosystems (requiring biological indices), ecotoxicological studies, etc. Thus, different monitoring strategies have been developed over recent decades aimed at evaluating the impact of the pollution brought by urban wet weather discharges on the biocenosis of receiving aquatic ecosystems. The purpose of this review is to establish a synthetic and critical view of these different methods used, to define their advantages and disadvantages, and to provide recommendations for futures researches. Although studies on aquatic communities are used efficiently, notably on benthic macroinvertebrates, they are difficult to interpret. In addition, despite the fact that certain bioassays lack representativeness, the literature at present appears meagre regarding ecotoxicological studies conducted in situ. However, new tools for studying urban wet weather discharges have emerged, namely biosensors. The advantages of biosensors are that they allow monitoring the impact of discharges in situ and continuously. However, only one study on this subject has been identified so far, making it necessary to perform further research in this direction.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2016 - 3:07:29 PM
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Antoine Gosset, Yannis Ferro, Claude Durrieu. Methods for evaluating the pollution impact of urban wet weather discharges on biocenosis: A review. Water Research, IWA Publishing/Elsevier, 2016, 89, pp.330-354. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2015.11.020⟩. ⟨hal-01337744⟩



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