- Perfluorinated alkylated acids in groundwater and drinking water: Identification, origin and mobility
- Science of the Total Environment
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Human exposure to perfluorinated alkylated acids (PFAA) occurs primarily via the dietary intake and drinking water can contribute significantly to the overall PFAA intake. Drinking water is produced from surface water and groundwater. Waste water treatment plants have been identified as the main source for PFAA in surface waters and corresponding drinking water. However, even though groundwater is an important source for drinking water production, PFAA sources remain largely uncertain. In this paper, we identified different direct and indirect sources of PFAA to groundwater within the catchment area of a public supply well field (PSWF) in The Netherlands. Direct sources were landfill leachate and water draining from a nearby military base/urban area. Indirect sources were infiltrated rainwater. Maximum concentrations encountered in groundwater within the landfill leachate plume were 1.8 μg/L of non branched perfluorooctanoic acid (L-PFOA) and 1.2 μg/L of perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA). Sum concentrations amounted to 4.4 μg/L total PFAA. The maximum concentration of ΣPFAA in the groundwater originating from the military camp was around 17 ng/L. Maximum concentrations measured in the groundwater halfway the landfill and the PWSF (15 years travel distance) were 29 and 160 ng/L for L-PFOA and PFBA, respectively. Concentrations in the groundwater pumping wells (travel distance > 25 years) were much lower: 0.96 and 3.5 ng/L for L-PFOA and PFBA, respectively. The chemical signature of these pumping wells corresponded to the signature encountered in other wells sampled which were fed by water that had not been in contact with potential contaminant sources, suggesting a widespread diffuse contamination from atmospheric deposition.
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