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Appendix 4: Activities and Contaminants that may Contribute to Source Waters

Table A1 contains information about possible contaminants that may arise from a given activity. Note that this is not an exhaustive tabulation either of all possible activities or of all contaminants that could arise. Activities could produce contaminants that are not included in the table. Also, the specific details of an activity will determine whether all or only some of the contaminants listed may be a concern.

This table is therefore a good starting point for determining which contaminants may arise from an activity, but is only a guide. The details of each specific activity should be determined in each case to gather a complete understanding of the possible contaminants.

The table includes indirect contaminants as well as those arising directly from the activity. For example, where the activity could introduce nutrients into a water source, cyanotoxins are potential indirect contaminants arising from the growth of algae encouraged by the nutrients. (Cyanotoxins have not been listed where the quantities of nutrients being released seem likely to be relatively small.)

Note that the table includes a wider list of contaminants as well as determinands. (Determinands are listed in the DWSNZ 2005 and are subject to regulation under the NES).

The information contained in Table A1 can be augmented by information from the Ministry for the Environment’s Hazardous Activities and Industries List.

Abbreviations used in Table A1:

DBP Disinfection by-products

NOM Natural organic matter

PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PCB Polychlorinated biphenyls

TPH Total petroleum hydrocarbons

Notes to the table

1. Superscript ‘I’ indicates indirect contaminants not introduced by the activity but which develop in the water as the result of other contaminants from the activity.

2. The term ‘pesticides’ refers to pesticides and herbicides. The term ‘herbicides’ is expressly used when only herbicides is meant.

Table A1: Possible contaminants from activities grouped by land use

Activity

Contaminating material

Contaminants

Comment

Chemical

Microbiological

Land-use category 1. Agriculture

Use of pesticides

Range of pesticides, metals

Pesticides, zinc, copper, cadmium, manganese

 

 

Use of artificial fertilisers

Range of artificial fertilisers

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, urea, phosphate, potassium, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, cadmium, manganese, cyanotoxinsI

 

Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.

Use of manure as fertiliser

Manure

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, copper, zinc, cyanotoxinsI

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa

The period of manure storage before use will affect the microbial risk.
Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds

Fuel storage and use

Petrol, diesel

Benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, TPH

 

 

Silage production

Silage leachate

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, cyanotoxinsI, NOM

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa

Acids formed in the silage may influence the pH of the water.
Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.

Dairy shed operation

Wash water

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, cyanotoxinsI, chlorine, chloramines, DBPs

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa

Chlorine could react with organic waste to form chloramines and other DBPs.
Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.

Spray irrigation of effluent

Effluent

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, cyanotoxinsI, turbidity, zinc, copper

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa

The level of microbial risk will depend on the time the manure has been stored before use.
Levels of contaminants from well-operated effluent ponds should be low.
Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.
Grazing close to the water’s edge will weaken and erode the bank.

Effluent pond operation

Effluent

Grazing animals

Manure deposited in pasture

Cultivation (tilling the soil only)

Soil, silt

Turbidity

 

Cultivation close to the water’s edge will weaken and erode the bank.

Land-use category 2. Forestry

Sewage sludge application

Sewage

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, metals, cyanotoxinsI,

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa

 

Use of pesticides

Range of pesticides

Pesticides

 

 

Use of poisons (feral animal control)

Poisoned baits

Cyanide, 1080, brodifacoum

 

 

Use and maintenance of vehicles

Petrol, diesel, oil

Benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, TPH

 

 

Fuel storage

Petrol, diesel

Land-use category 3. Mining and Quarrying

Use and maintenance of vehicles

Petrol, diesel, oil

Benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, TPH

 

 

Fuel storage

Petrol, diesel

Ore extraction

Extraction chemicals

Cyanide, metals

 

The metals of concern will depend on the composition of the ore.

Collection and treatment of acid mine drainage

Mine drainage

Metals, sulphate

 

The low pH of mine drainage may affect the pH of the receiving water and affect the treatment operation.

Open-cast mining and quarrying

Dust

Turbidity

 

Activities requiring use of explosives will eject particulates into the air.

Land-use category 4. Industry and Commerce (heavy and light industry)

Brewing

Materials used in the process, and process effluent

Detergents, organic matter

 

 

Ceramics

Glazes

Metals

 

 

Cold storage

Refrigerants

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate

 

 

Drum reconditioning

Range of organic and inorganic chemicals, degreasers, detergents

Industrial solvents, metals

 

 

Electronics

Alkalis, acids, cyanides, solvents, metals

Cyanide, TPH, metals, PCBs, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethane, acetone, toluene

 

Alkalis and acids in large enough quantities may influence the source water pH, and possibly treatment plant operation.

Fertiliser/
agrichemical production

Fertilisers and pesticides

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, urea, phosphate, potassium, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, cyanotoxinsI

 

Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.

Fish processing

Process effluent (high in organic waste)

Organic matter

 

 

Foundries

Acids, metals, fluxes

Metals, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, phosphate

 

Acids may give rise to nitrate, chloride, sulphate, and phosphate and affect the pH of the source water.

Furniture production

Glues, polishes, paints

Toluene, dichloromethane

 

 

Meat and milk processing

Processing effluent, including cleaning chemicals

Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, chloride, sodium, calcium, magnesium, organic substances, cyanotoxinsI, turbidity, chlorine

Bacteria, viruses and protozoa

Caustic cleaning chemicals can result in high pH effluent.
Under suitable conditions the introduction of nutrients into a source water may lead to algal growth and the presence of cyanotoxins, and taste and odour compounds.

Metal cleaning/
electroplating

Cleaning and plating chemicals, metals, acids

Cyanide, metals, industrial solvents, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, detergents, editic acid (EDTA)

 

Acids may give rise to nitrate, chloride, sulphate and phosphate and affect the pH of the source water.

Paper making

Bleaching chemicals, caustic soda

Chlorate, chlorine, sulphate, DBPs, sodium, NOM

 

The quantities of chlorinated organic compounds (DBPs) should be small in a well-run plant.

Printing

Solvents, inks, dyes

Industrial solvents (eg, dichloromethane, toluene, xylene)

 

 

Product storage

Fumigants

1,3-dichloropropene, chloropicrin, cyanide, methyl bromide

 

The nature of the fumigation will determine which fumigants are a concern.

Resins

Range of organic chemicals

Formaldehyde, urea, organic acids, esters amines and peroxides

 

 

Rubbers and plastics

Solvents, plasticisers, paints and other organic substances

Industrial solvents, cyanide, zinc, formaldehyde, plasticisers

 

 

Tanning

Tanning chemicals

Chromium, calcium, sulphate

 

 

Wood processing

Preservatives and other treatment chemicals

Pentachlorophenol, copper, chromium, arsenic, boron, industrial solvents, chlorpyriphos, creosote, PAHs

 

 

Wool scouring

Degreasing agents, pesticides

Detergents, grease, pesticides (including chlorpyriphos, diazinon)

 

The classes of pesticides likely to be derived from wool are: organophosphates, synthetic pyrethroids and insect growth regulators.

Note: This should not be considered an exhaustive list of all possible activities, nor of all contaminants that could arise.