Transfer of glyphosate and its degradate AMPA to surface waters through urban sewerage systems

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBotta, F, Lavison, G, Couturier, G, Alliot, F, Moreau-Guigon, E, Fauchon, N, Guery, B, Chevreuil, M, Blanchoud, H
Pagination133 - 139
Date Published05/2009
Mots-clésDegradation, Glyphosate, Storm sewers, urban runoff, wastewaters

A study of glyphosate and aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA) transfer in the Orge watershed (France) was carried out during 2007 and 2008. Water samples were collected in surface water, wastewater sewer, storm sewer and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). These two molecules appeared to be the most frequently detected ones in the rivers and usually exceeded the European quality standard concentrations of 0.1 μg L-1 for drinking water. The annual glyphosate estimated load was 1.9 kg year-1 upstream (agricultural zone) and 179.5 kg year-1 at the catchment outlet (urban zone). This result suggests that the contamination of this basin by glyphosate is essentially from urban origin (road and railway applications). Glyphosate reached surface water prevalently through storm sewer during rainfall event. Maximum concentrations were detected in storm sewer just after a rainfall event (75–90 μg L-1). High concentrations of glyphosate in surface water during rainfall events reflected urban runoff impact. AMPA was always detected in the sewerage system. This molecule reached surface water mainly via WWTP effluent and also through storm sewer. Variations in concentrations of AMPA during hydrological episodes were minor compared to glyphosate variations. Our study highlights that AMPA and glyphosate origins in urban area are different. During dry period, detergent degradation seemed to be the major AMPA source in wastewater.