Clean water is a precious resource, and policies/programmes are implemented worldwide to protect and/or improve water quality. Faecal pollution can be a key contributor to water quality decline causing eutrophication through nutrient enrichment and pathogenic contamination. The robust sourcing of faecal pollutants is important to be able to target the appropriate sector and to engage managers. Biomarker technology has the potential for source confirmation, by using, for example the biomarker suite of steroids. Steroids have been used in the differentiation of human and animal faeces; however, there is no unequivocal extraction technique. Some of the methods used include (i) Soxhlet extraction, (ii) Bligh and Dyer (BD) extraction, and (iii) accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). The less costly and time intensive technique of ASE is particularly attractive, but a current research gap concerns further comparisons regarding ASE lipid extraction from soils/slurries compared with the more traditional Soxhlet and BD extractions. Accordingly, a randomised complete block experiment was implemented to assess differences between the three extraction methods, differences between the different sample types, and the interactions between these two factors. Following GC-MS, it was found that there was no significant difference between the results of the steroid extraction methods, regardless of the type of sample used, for the quantity of each steroid extracted. It was concluded that ASE could be used confidently instead of the more established steroid extraction methods, thereby delivering time and cost savings.
|Journal||Water, Air and Soil Pollution|
|Early online date||9 Oct 2020|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2020|
- Bligh and Dyer
- Faecal pollution