An Integrated Modeling Approach for Describing Fate and Transport of Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) in Estuarine Reservoir

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jingjie Zhang, Tung Nguyen Viet, Xuan Wang, Huiting Chen and Karina Yew-Hoong Gin, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
The fate and transport processes of emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems are complex, which are not only determined by their own properties but also influenced by the environmental setting, physical, chemical and biological processes. A 3D-emerging contaminant model has been developed based on Delft3D water quality model and coupled with a hydrodynamic model and a catchment-scale 1D- hydrological and hydraulic model to study the possible fate and transport mechanisms of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in Marina Reservoir in Singapore. The main processes in the contaminant model include partitioning (among detritus, dissolved organic matter and phytoplankton), settling, resuspension and degradation. We used the integrated model to quantify the distribution of the total PFCs and two major components, namely perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in the water, sediments and organisms in the reservoir. The model yielded good agreement with the field measurements when evaluated based on the datasets in 2009 and 2010 as well as recent observations in 2013 and 2014. Our results elucidate that the model can be a useful tool to characterize the occurrence, sources, sinks and trends of PFCs both in the water column and in the sediments in the reservoir. Thisapproach provides a better understanding of mechanisms that influence the fate and transport of emerging contaminants and lays down a framework for future experiments to further explore how the dominant environmental factors change towards mitigation of emerging contaminants in the reservoirs.