DETERMINATION OF POLLUTANTS IN EFFLUENTS (MPC 4332C) A SURVEY OF CADMIUM AND VANADIUM CONCENTRATIONS IN FRESH AND SALINE WATERS IN THE UK.
Report No DWI0226

May 1984

SUMMARY

A Survey of Cadmium and vanadium Concentrations in Fresh and Saline Waters in the UK.

BACKGROUND

Cadmium in fresh and saline surface waters is the subject of recent European Community legislation. The Department of the Environment has commissioned a survey of cadmium concentrations in UK waters. The Water Research Centre performed the analysis of samples provided by water undertakings. Information was also provided on concentrations of vanadium in freshwater samples.

OBJECTIVES

A survey covering approximately 200 freshwater sampling locations and 7 major estuaries was undertaken. Sampling of sites likely to be subject to cadmium pollution was requested. Requirements for analytical accuracy implied a Limit of Detection of 0.1 g/l for cadmium and 5 g/l for vanadium.

RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS

Over 90% of results obtained for dissolved (0.45 m filtrable) cadmium in UK rivers were less than 1 g/l. 95% of results were less than 5 g/l. Elevated concentrations were associated with drainage of metalliferous catchments or with industrial activity.

The survey of estuarine waters, though limited in scope, indicated low cadmium levels, the highest being 0.5 g/l.

Levels of dissolved vanadium in river waters were found to be predominantly (97% of results) less than 2 g/l.

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