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Gold Coast, Australia

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Gold Coast, Australia
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Waltham N.J.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Waltham N.J.,Griffith University | Waltham N.J.,Koskela Group | Teasdale P.R.,Griffith University | Connolly R.M.,Griffith University
Journal of Environmental Monitoring | Year: 2011

Metal and pesticide contaminants were measured in water, sediment and fish species in various Gold Coast waterways, Queensland. With the exception of Cu, metal concentrations in water, measured using the diffuse gradients in a thin film (DGT) technique, complied with relevant Australian guidelines. Cu concentrations in these waterways have been related to recreational vessel activities previously. All sediment metal concentrations measured were below the national guidelines, although Cu, Zn and Pb were found to vary significantly between habitat types. Evidence of spikes in sediment pesticide concentrations (some banned over 50 years ago) was observed in some artificial residential waterways. Heavy metals and pesticides were measured in the tissue (muscle, gills and liver) of three economically important species of fish, with different feeding strategies (partly herbivore Arrhamphus sclerolepis, carnivore Acanthopagrus australis, detritivore Mugil cephalus). We tested the hypothesis that fish accumulate different amounts of contaminants from wetland habitats affected by different intensities of anthropogenic activities (i.e., marinas, artificial residential canals, artificial residential lakes, estuaries and natural, vegetated waterways). Significantly higher concentrations of Cu were found in the gills of each fish species from marinas compared to fish caught in other waterways. Furthermore, fish caught in canals had the second highest Cu and natural waterways the lowest. These results support the stated hypothesis for Cu and furthermore indicate that these fish species are suitable as biomonitors in estuarine waterways. Metal and pesticide concentrations in the edible muscle tissue of all fish complied with the Australian Food Standard Code recommended limits for human consumption, apart from As which is likely to be due to bioconcentration of lower toxicity organo-As species. These results indicate a low health risk for humans consuming fish, in terms of contaminant levels. The accumulated body of evidence on contaminants within Gold Coast waterways generally suggests that there are no major threats of metal or pesticide contamination, except for marina facilities which are a major source of Cu which also accumulates in fish. Water quality threats are also highlighted in residential canals, presumably as a consequence of their hydrological design. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Waltham N.J.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Waltham N.J.,Griffith University | Teasdale P.R.,Griffith University | Connolly R.M.,Griffith University
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2013

There has been a widespread world-wide use of flathead mullet, Mugilcephalus, in fish biomonitor studies within the coastal zone. This review summarises this research field, focusing on heavy metals, and considers the implications of the accumulated data. Differences in sampling methodology, tissues analysed and units of reported data provide challenges in assessing and benchmarking these biomonitor studies. The benthic feeding strategy of M. cephalus invariably increases exposure risk relative to middle or upper water column feeders, nevertheless contaminant accumulation via direct and indirect pathways was regulated sufficiently such that toxicants were below food guidelines in most coastal regions (32 of the 49 examined). Human health issues can arise if fish are consumed from heavily industrialised regions. Recommendations are provided for future biomonitoring studies, based on the results for M. cephalus but relevant for fish species more broadly, to provide more comparable data so that managers can benchmark against local conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Jordan M.A.,Griffith University | Welsh D.T.,Griffith University | Teasdale P.R.,Griffith University | Catterall K.,Gold Coast Mail Center | John R.,Griffith University
Water Research | Year: 2010

Activated sludge was successfully incorporated as the biocatalyst in the fast, ferricyanide-mediated biochemical oxygen demand (FM-BOD) bioassay. Sludge preparation procedures were optimized for three potential biocatalysts; aeration basin mixed liquor, aerobic digester sludge and return activated sludge. Following a 24h starving period, the return activated sludge and mixed liquor sludges reported the highest oxidative degradation of a standard glucose/glutamic acid (GGA) mixture and the return activated sludge also recorded the lowest endogenous FM-respiration rate. Dynamic working ranges up to 170 mg BOD5L-1 for OECD standard solutions and 300mg BOD5L-1 for GGA were obtained. This is a considerable improvement upon the BOD5 standard assay and most other rapid BOD techniques. Time-series ferricyanide-mediated oxidation of the OECD170 standard approached that of the GGA198 standard after 3-6h. This is noteworthy given the OECD standard is formulated as a synthetic sewage analogue. A highly significant correlation with the BOD5 standard method (n=35, p<0.001, R=0.952) was observed for a wide diversity of real wastewater samples. The mean degradation efficiency was indistinguishable from that observed for the BOD5 assay. These results demonstrate that the activated sludge FM-BOD assay may be used for simple, same-day BOD analysis of wastewaters. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Jordan M.A.,Griffith University | Welsh D.T.,Griffith University | John R.,Griffith University | Catterall K.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Teasdale P.R.,Griffith University
Water Research | Year: 2013

Representative and fast monitoring of wastewater influent and effluent biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is an elusive goal for the wastewater industry and regulatory bodies alike. The present study describes a suitable assay, which incorporates activated sludge as the biocatalyst and ferricyanide as the terminal electron acceptor for respiration. A number of different sludges and sludge treatments were investigated, primarily to improve the sensitivity of the assay. A limit of detection (LOD) (2.1 mg BOD5 L-1) very similar to that of the standard 5-day BOD5 method was achieved in 4 h using raw influent sludge that had been cultured overnight as the biocatalyst. Reducing the microbial concentration was the most effective means to improve sensitivity and reduce the contribution of the sludge's endogenous respiration to total ferricyanide-mediated (FM) respiration. A strong and highly significant relationship was found (n = 33; R = 0.96; p < 0.001; slope = 0.94) between BOD5 and FM-BOD equivalent values for a diverse range of samples including wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent and treated effluent, as well as several grey water samples. The activated sludge FM-BOD assay presented here is an exceptional surrogate method to the standard BOD5 assay, providing representative, same-day BOD analysis of WWTP samples with a comparable detection limit, a 4-fold greater analytical range and much faster analysis time. The industry appeal of such an assay is tremendous given that ∼90% of all BOD5 analysis is dedicated to measurement of WWTP samples, for which this assay is specifically designed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Cuttriss A.K.,Griffith University | Prince J.B.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Castley J.G.,Griffith University
Aquatic Botany | Year: 2013

Recent (2005) detailed assessments of seagrass meadow extent and pattern in Moreton Bay were compared with earlier assessments (1987 and 1995). Ground-truthing (2008/09) of the images confirmed an extent of 1208. ha, of mixed beds comprising six seagrass species (Zostera muelleri, Cymodocea serrulata, Halophila ovalis, Halophila spinulosa, Syringodium isoetifolium and Halodule uninervis). Repeated surveys revealed an increasing trend in seagrass coverage since 1987 but also that these habitats were becoming more fragmented. Mapping inconsistencies over time precluded the assessment of finer scale fragment expansion or contraction. Dredging, boating activities and ongoing coastal development are anticipated to be the primary drivers behind the fragmentation processes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Waltham N.J.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Waltham N.J.,Griffith University | Connolly R.M.,Griffith University
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2013

The construction of artificial, residential waterways to increase the opportunities for coastal properties with waterfrontage is a common and widespread practice. We describe the fish community from the world's largest aggregation of artificial, estuarine lakes, the Burleigh Lake system that covers 280. ha on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Fish were collected from 30 sites in winter and spring of one year, and water salinity was measured 3-monthly for a 10 year period. Fish are not present in deep, bottom waters and the intensive sampling focussed on the shallow waters around lake margins. The fish fauna consisted of 33 species. All but three species are marine species that can tolerate some brackishness. The other three are freshwater species, normally found in rivers but also occurring in the upper reaches of estuaries. Fish communities differed among the lakes, reflecting a weak gradient in salinity in lakes at different distances from the single connection to the natural estuary and thus marine waters. Overall, the deeper (to 28. m), wider (700. m) characteristics of lake estates, and their incorporation of partial barriers to tidal exchange with natural reaches of estuaries, remove some of the hydrological concerns with very extensive canal estates. The shallow lake margins are habitat for a subset of fish species inhabiting adjacent natural wetlands. Where the lakes occupy space that was formerly land, this is novel habitat for fish. In place, however, where lakes have replaced natural wetlands, further comparisons of fish in lake and adjacent natural wetlands will be useful. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Willis R.M.,Griffith University | Stewarta R.A.,Griffith University | Panuwatwanich K.,Griffith University | Jones S.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Kyriakides A.,Griffith University
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2010

Sustainable urban water consumption has become a critical issue in Australian built environments due to the country's dry climate and increasingly variable rainfall. Residential households have the potential to conserve water, especially across discretionary end uses such as showering. The advent of high resolution smart meters and data loggers allows for the disaggregation of water flow recordings into a registry of water end use events (e.g. showers, washing machine and taps). This study firstly reports on a water consumption end use study sample of 151 households conducted in the Gold Coast, Australia, with a focus on daily per capita shower end use distributions. A sub-sample of 44 households within the greater sample was recruited for the installation of an alarming visual display monitor locked at 40 L consumption for bathroom showers. All sub-sample shower end use event durations, volumes and flow rates were then analysed and compared utilising independent sample t-tests pre- and post-intervention. The installation of the shower monitor instigated a statistically significant mean reduction of 15.40 L (27%) in shower event volumes. Monetary savings resulting from modelled water and energy conservation resulted in a 1.65-year payback period for the device. Furthermore, conservative modelling indicated that the citywide implementation of the device could yield 3% and 2.4% savings in total water and energy consumption, respectively. Moreover, a range of non-monetary benefits were identified, including the deferment of water and energy supply infrastructure, reduced resource inflationary pressures, and climate change mitigation, to name a few. Resource consumption awareness devices like the one evaluated in this study assist resource consumers to take ownership of their usage and individually tackle individualistic and/or society driven conservation goals, ultimately helping to reduce the ecological footprint of built environments. Crown Copyright © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Willis R.M.,Griffith University | Stewart R.A.,Griffith University | Panuwatwanich K.,Griffith University | Williams P.R.,Griffith University | Hollingsworth A.L.,Gold Coast Mail Center
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2011

Within the research field of urban water demand management, understanding the link between environmental and water conservation attitudes and observed end use water consumption has been limited. Through a mixed method research design incorporating field-based smart metering technology and questionnaire surveys, this paper reveals the relationship between environmental and water conservation attitudes and a domestic water end use break down for 132 detached households located in Gold Coast city, Australia. Using confirmatory factor analysis, attitudinal factors were developed and refined; households were then categorised based on these factors through cluster analysis technique. Results indicated that residents with very positive environmental and water conservation attitudes consumed significantly less water in total and across the behaviourally influenced end uses of shower, clothes washer, irrigation and tap, than those with moderately positive attitudinal concern. The paper concluded with implications for urban water demand management planning, policy and practice. © 2011.

Catterall K.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Catterall K.,Griffith University | Robertson D.,Griffith University | Hudson S.,Griffith University | And 3 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2010

A need for rapid toxicity techniques has seen recent research into developing new microbiological assays and characterising their toxicity responses using a range of substances. A microbiological bioassay that determines changes in ferricyanide-mediated respiration for toxicity measurement (FM-TOX) shows particular promise. The development and optimisation of an improved FM-TOX method, incorporating novel features, is described using Escherichia coli as the biocatalyst. Omission of an exogenous carbon source, used in previously described FM-TOX assays, substantially improves the assay sensitivity. In addition, the development of a two-step procedure (toxicant exposure followed by determination of microbial respiratory activity) was found to enhance the inhibition of E. coli by 3,5-dichlorophenol and four other toxicants, compared to single-step procedures. Other assay parameters, such as the ferricyanide concentration, exposure times and optical density of the biocatalyst were also optimised, sometimes based on practical aspects. Toxicity tests were carried out using the adopted technique on both organic and inorganic toxicants, with classic sigmoid-shaped dose-response curves observed, as well as some non-standard responses. IC50 data is presented for a number of common toxicants. The optimised assay provides a good foundation for further toxicity testing using E. coli, as well as the potential for expanding the technique to utilise other bacteria with complementary toxicity responses, thereby allowing use of the assay in a range of applications. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Catterall K.,Gold Coast Mail Center | Catterall K.,Griffith University | Robertson D.,Griffith University | Teasdale P.R.,Griffith University | And 2 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2010

A number of recent studies have utilised ferricyanide as a respiratory mediator for microbial-based assays for determining water quality parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and toxicity. The majority of assays published to date obtain a result by determining the difference in ferrocyanide accumulation between a test sample and one or more control samples. However, a validation of the relationship between ferrocyanide accumulation and standard measures of cell density or viability has not yet been performed. To this end, a rapid microbially catalysed ferricyanide-mediated respiration (FM-RES) assay was compared with standard plate count (SPC) and spectrophotometer (OD600) measurements on a growing batch culture of Escherichia coli. Good agreement was observed between all techniques, with predictable deviations noted in different phases of the growth curves. Standardised FM-RES assays showed excellent correlations with the SPC method under controlled conditions, indicating that short-term changes in microbial activity are due to a change in per-cell respiration, rather than changes in cell numbers. The FM-RES assay was then used to observe the changes in the respiration of E. coli induced by the addition of a glucose-glutamic acid (GGA) mixture, 3,5-dichlorophenol (3,5-DCP) and Ag+ in various combinations and concentrations. Stimulation of respiration was pronounced in the presence of GGA while both 3,5-DCP and, in particular, Ag+ demonstrated inhibitory respiratory effects. The results highlight the validity and suitability of ferricyanide-mediated respiration bioassays, with appropriate modification, to monitor either stimulatory effects on microbial populations, such as occurs with BOD, or inhibitory effects, such as occurs with toxicity assays. Crown Copyright © 2009.

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