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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 6, p. 2029-2039
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 18, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): declan.page@csiro.au
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Risk Assessment of Aquifer Storage Transfer and Recovery with Urban Stormwater for Producing Water of a Potable Quality

  1. Declan Page *ab,
  2. Peter Dillonab,
  3. Joanne Vanderzalmab,
  4. Simon Tozebc,
  5. Jatinder Sidhubc,
  6. Karen Barryab,
  7. Kerry Levettab,
  8. Sarah Kremerd and
  9. Rudi Regele
  1. a CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag No 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    b Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, Waite Laboratories, Waite Rd, Urrbrae SA 5064, Australia
    c Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Rd., St Lucia, Brisbane, QLD 4067, Australia
    d BRGM, 3 Avenue Claude-Guillemin- BP 36009-45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France
    e United Water International, 180 Greenhill Rd., Parkside SA 5063, Australia. Assigned to Associate Editor Minghua Zhang


The objective of the Parafield Aquifer Storage Transfer and Recovery research project in South Australia is to determine whether stormwater from an urban catchment that is treated in a constructed wetland and stored in an initially brackish aquifer before recovery can meet potable water standards. The water produced by the stormwater harvesting system, which included a constructed wetland, was found to be near potable quality. Parameters exceeding the drinking water guidelines before recharge included small numbers of fecal indicator bacteria and elevated iron concentrations and associated color. This is the first reported study of a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) scheme to be assessed following the Australian guidelines for MAR. A comprehensive staged approach to assess the risks to human health and the environment of this project has been undertaken, with 12 hazards being assessed. A quantitative microbial risk assessment undertaken on the water recovered from the aquifer indicated that the residual risks posed by the pathogenic hazards were acceptable if further supplementary treatment was included. Residual risks from organic chemicals were also assessed to be low based on an intensive monitoring program. Elevated iron concentrations in the recovered water exceeded the potable water guidelines. Iron concentrations increased after underground storage but would be acceptable after postrecovery aeration treatment. Arsenic concentrations in the recovered water continuously met the guideline concentrations acceptable for potable water supplies. However, the elevated concentration of arsenic in native groundwater and its presence in aquifer minerals suggest that the continuing acceptable residual risk from arsenic requires further evaluation.

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Copyright © 2010. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America