McLaren, S.J. & Kim, N.D. (1995). Evidence for a seasonal fluctuation of arsenic in New Zealand's longest river and the effect of treatment on concentrations in drinking water. Environmental Pollution, 90(1), 67-73.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4695
A year-long survey, with samples collected weekly, was conducted to estimate long-term average concentrations of arsenic in treated and untreated drinking water for the city of Hamilton, New Zealand. The average concentration of arsenic in Waikato River water at Hamilton before processing was found to be (32•1 ± 3•7) μg litre⁻¹, about three times above the new WHO limit of 10 μg litre⁻¹. However, full conventional water treatment effects a five-fold reduction in arsenic concentrations in drinking water to a level which meets the new standards of (6•2 ± 0•8) μg litre⁻¹. The results of both this study and retrospective analysis of archived data suggest that total arsenic concentrations in the Waikato River are likely to follow a regular seasonal variation, being about 10–25 μg litre⁻¹ higher in the summer months. Changes in river flow rates have an almost negligible effect on the summer peak and winter trough; it is proposed that most of the variation in total arsenic concentrations may be due to the seasonal conversion of arsenic in the river sediments to more soluble forms.