Fluorescence Spectroscopy as a Screening Tool and Continuous Monitor for Urban Water Quality
The fluorescence spectrum of water samples can be readily measured to identify the presence of many natural and anthropogenic organic compounds. Water samples from storm drains, creeks and seeps along the Thames River in London, Ontario, contained gasoline, undifferentiated PAHs, sewage and fluorescent dyes. Some sites showed consistent spectra, others were highly variable. Time series of samples and continuous records show that fluorescence varies in response to runoff and human activities. The spatial and temporal variability of water quality indicates that analysis of a limited number of discrete, point water samples is unlikely to characterise real contamination patterns. Temporal and spatial variability require greater attention.
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