Water quality characterisation of rainwater in tanks at different times and locations

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Journal Article
Water Science and Technology, 2010, 61 (2), pp. 429 - 439
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Rainwater collected from ten domestic roofs in Sydney and from one in Wollongong, a town south of Sydney, Australia was analysed to determine the water quality and to compare against the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) to determine its suitability as a potable water supply. The pollutants analysed were 13 heavy metals, 8 salts & minerals, pH, ammonia, orthophosphate, conductivity, water hardness, turbidity, total suspended solids, Total dissolved salts & Bicarbonate. The results indicate that the rainwater tested complied to most of the parameters specified in the ADWG. Molecular weight distribution of organic matter from one of the domestic rainwater tanks was analysed in terms of the effects of aging and roof contact. Molecular weight distribution of organic matter in rainwater showed prominent peaks at 37,500 daltons may be due to biopolymers, 850 Da to humic substances, 500 Da to building blocks, 220 Da to low MW acids, and less than 220 Da to amphiphilics. The findings also indicate that the first flush volumes that by-passed the tank can have a significant influence on the water quality in the rainwater tank. © IWA Publishing 2010.
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