ALS Environmental

Waterloo, Canada

ALS Environmental

Waterloo, Canada
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Kelly-Hooper F.,University of Waterloo | Farwell A.J.,University of Waterloo | Pike G.,ALS Environmental | Kennedy J.,ALS Environmental | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) reference method for the Canada-wide standard (CWS) for petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) in soil provides chemistry analysis standards and guidelines for the management of contaminated sites. However, these methods can coextract natural biogenic organic compounds (BOCs) from organic soils, causing false exceedences of toxicity guidelines. The present 300-d microcosm experiment used CWS PHC tier 1 soil extraction and gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) analysis to develop a new tier 2 mathematical approach to resolving this problem. Carbon fractions F2 (C10-C16), F3 (C16-C34), and F4 (>C34) as well as subfractions F3a (C16-C22) and F3b (C22-C34) were studied in peat and sand spiked once with Federated crude oil. These carbon ranges were also studied in 14 light to heavy crude oils. The F3 range in the clean peat was dominated by F3b, whereas the crude oils had approximately equal F3a and F3b distributions. The F2 was nondetectable in the clean peat but was a significant component in crude oil. The crude oil-spiked peat had elevated F2 and F3a distributions. The BOC-adjusted PHC F3 calculation estimated the true PHC concentrations in the spiked peat. The F2:F3b ratio of less than 0.10 indicated PHC absence in the clean peat, and the ratio of greater than or equal to 0.10 indicated PHC presence in the spiked peat and sand. Validation studies are required to confirm whether this new tier 2 approach is applicable to real-case scenarios. Potential adoption of this approach could minimize unnecessary ecological disruptions of thousands of peatlands throughout Canada while also saving millions of dollars in management costs. © 2013 SETAC.

Kelly-Hooper F.,University of Waterloo | Farwell A.J.,University of Waterloo | Pike G.,ALS Environmental | Kennedy J.,ALS Environmental | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2014

The reference method for the Canada-wide standard (CWS) for petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) in soil provides laboratories with methods for generating accurate and reproducible soil analysis results. The CWS PHC tier 1 generic soil-quality guidelines apply to 4 carbon ranges/fractions: F1 (C6-C10), F2 (C10-C16), F3 (C16-C34), and F4 (>C34). The methods and guidelines were developed and validated for soils with approximately 5% total organic carbon (TOC). However, organic soils have much higher TOC levels because of biogenic organic compounds (BOCs) originating from sources such as plant waxes and fatty acids. Coextracted BOCs can have elevated F2-F4 concentrations, which can cause false exceedances of PHC soil guidelines. The present study evaluated false PHC detections in soil samples collected from 34 background sites. The list of analytes included soil type, TOC, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), F2, F3, F4, F3a (C16-C22), and F3b (C22-C34). Soils with 3% to 41% TOC falsely exceeded the CWS PHC 300mg/kg F3 coarse soil guideline. It was previously demonstrated that clean peat had F2:F3b ratios of less than 0.10, while crude oil spiked peat and spiked sand had higher ratios of greater than 0.10. In the present background study, all of the clean organic soils with at least 300mg/kg F3 had F2:F3b ratios of less than 0.10, which indicated false guideline exceedances. Clean inorganic soils had low F3 concentrations, resulting in high F2:F3b ratios of greater than 0.10. Validation field studies are required to determine if the F2:F3b 0.10 PHC presence versus absence threshold value is applicable to crude oil- and diesel-contaminated sites. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:1754-1760. © 2014 SETAC.

Schang C.,Monash University | Lintern A.,Monash University | Cook P.L.M.,Monash University | Osborne C.,Jomar Life Research | And 7 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

Urban estuaries throughout the world typically contain elevated levels of faecal contamination, the extent of which is generally assessed using faecal indicator organisms (FIO) such as Escherichia coli. This study assesses whether the bacterial FIO, E. coli is a suitable surrogate for Campylobacter spp., in estuaries. The presence and survival dynamics of culturable E. coli and Campylobacter spp. are compared in the water column, bank sediments and bed sediments of the Yarra River estuary (located in Melbourne, Australia). The presence of E. coli did not necessarily indicate detectable levels of Campylobacter spp. in the water column, bed and bank sediments, but the inactivation rates of the two bacteria were similar in the water column. A key finding of the study is that E. coli and Campylobacter spp. can survive for up to 14. days in the water column and up to 21. days in the bed and bank sediments of the estuary. Preliminary data presented in this study also suggests that the inactivation rates of the two bacteria may be similar in bed and bank sediments. This undermines previous hypotheses that Campylobacter spp. cannot survive outside of its host and indicates that public health risks can persist in aquatic systems for up to three weeks after the initial contamination event. © 2016.

Henry R.,Monash University | Schang C.,Monash University | Chandrasena G.I.,Monash University | Deletic A.,Monash University | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Campylobacter is the leading agent of diarrheal disease worldwide. This study evaluates a novel culture-PCR hybrid (MPN-PCR) assay for the rapid enumeration of Campylobacter spp. from estuarine and wastewater systems. To first evaluate the current, culture-based, Australian standard, an inter-laboratory study was conducted on 69 subsampled water samples. The proposed Most-Probable Number (MPN)-PCR method was then evaluated, by analysing 147 estuarine samples collected over a 2 year period. Data for 14 different biological, hydrological and climatic parameters were also collated to identify pathogen-environment relationships and assess the potential for method specific bias. The results demonstrated that the intra-laboratory performance of the MPN-PCR was superior to that of AS/NZS (σ = 0.7912, P < 0.001; κ = 0.701, P < 0.001) with an overall diagnostic accuracy of ~94%. Furthermore, the analysis of both MPN-PCR and AS/NZS identified the potential for the introduction of method specific bias during assessment of the effects of environmental parameters on Campylobacter spp. numbers. © 2015 Henry, Schang, Chandrasena, Deletic, Edmunds, Jovanovic, Kolotelo, Schmidt, Williamson and McCarthy.

Henry R.,Monash University | Schang C.,Monash University | Kolotelo P.,Monash University | Coleman R.,Melbourne Water | And 4 more authors.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2016

Current World Health Organisation figures estimate that ~2.5 million deaths per year result from recreational contact with contaminated water sources. Concerns about quantitative risk assessments of waterways using faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) as surrogates to infer pathogenic risk currently exist. In Melbourne, Australia, the Yarra River has come under public scrutiny due to perceived public health risks associated with aquatic recreation; a characteristic shared with urban estuaries worldwide. A 10-month study of the Yarra estuary investigated the processes that affect FIOs and pathogens within this system. A total of 74 samples were collected from three estuarine and two upstream, freshwater, locations under different climatic and hydrological conditions, and the levels of Escherichia coli, enterococci, Clostridium perfringens, fRNA coliphages, Campylobacter spp. Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts, adenoviruses, and enteroviruses were monitored. Reference pathogenic bacteria, protozoa, and viruses were detected in 81%, 19%, and 8% of samples, respectively. Variations in FIO concentrations were found to be associated with changes in specific climatic and hydrological variables including: temperature, flow, humidity and rainfall. In contrast, pathogen levels remained unaffected by all variables investigated. Limitations of current national and international culture-based standard methods may have played a significant role in limiting the identification of correlative relationships The data demonstrate the differences between FIOs and microbial pathogens in terms of sources, sinks, and survival processes within an urban estuary and provide further evidence of the inadequacy of FIO inclusion in the development of worldwide regulatory water quality criteria and risk assessment models. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Kolian S.R.,EcoRigs Non Profit Organization | Porter S.A.,EcoRigs Non Profit Organization | Sammarco P.W.,EcoRigs Non Profit Organization | Sammarco P.W.,Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Evidence of fresh oil from the BP/Deepwater Horizon Mississippi Canyon-252 (MC-252) well was found in the northern Gulf of Mexico up to 1 year and 10 months after it was capped on 15 July 2010. Offshore and coastal samples collected after capping displayed ratios of biomarkers matching those of MC-252 crude oil. Pre- and post-capping samples were compared. Little weathering had occurred, based on the abundance of low-molecular-weight (LMW) n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the post-capping samples. The occurrence of fresh oil in offshore waters and coastal areas suggest that the MC-252 well continued to leak hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico at least until 22 May 2012, the end of this study period. © 2015, The Author(s).

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