Broad target chemical screening approach used as tool for rapid assessment of groundwater quality

  • ter Laak T
  • Puijker L
  • van Leerdam J
 et al. 
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The chemical water quality is often assessed by screening for a limited set of target chemicals. This 'conventional' target analysis approach inevitably misses chemicals present in the samples. In this study a 'broad' target screening approach for water quality assessment using high resolution and accurate mass spectrometry (HR MS) was applied to detect a wide variety of organic chemicals in 42 groundwater samples. In this approach, both known and unidentified chemicals observed in previous samples define the training set for the analysis of future samples and, additionally, new samples can be used to extend the training set. Nearly 400 chemicals were observed in the samples, of which 82 were known and more than 313 are of unknown identity. The obtained results were interpreted in relation to the source characteristics and land use. Groundwater that was affected by landfills showed the highest total MS response (ion counts) and most individual chemicals and was therefore considered most contaminated. Furthermore, river bank filtrated water was generally more contaminated than phreatic groundwater and groundwater from (semi)confined aquifers was most pristine. Additionally, industrial chemicals were more frequently observed in river bank filtrated water and pesticides were more frequently observed in water originating from rural areas. The 'broad' target screening approach for both known and unidentified chemicals does provide more information on the over-all water quality than 'conventional' target analysis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Water Quality
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Environmental Monitoring/*methods
  • Groundwater/*analysis
  • Industrial Waste/analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Netherlands
  • Organic Chemicals/analysis
  • Pesticides/analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/*analysis

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  • T L ter Laak

  • L M Puijker

  • J A van Leerdam

  • K J Raat

  • A Kolkman

  • P de Voogt

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