Drinking water contaminants from epoxy resin-coated pipes: A field study

Rehabilitation of aged drinking water pipes is an extensive renovation and increasingly topical in many European cities. Spray-on-lining of drinking water pipes is an alternative cost-effective rehabilitation technology in which the insides of pipes are relined with organic polymer. A commonly used polymer is epoxy resin consisting of monomer bisphenol A (BPA). Leaching of BPA from epoxy lining to drinking water has been a concern among public and authorities. Currently epoxy lining is not recommended in some countries. BPA leaching has been demonstrated in laboratory studies but the behaviour and ageing process of epoxy lining in situ is not well known. In this study 6 locations with different age epoxy linings of drinking water pipes done using two distinct technologies were studied. While bisphenol F, 4-n-nonylphenol, and 4-t-octylphenol were rarely found and in trace concentrations, BPA was detected in majority of samples. Pipes lined with the older technology (LSE) leached more BPA than those with more recent technology (DonPro): maxima in cold water were 0.25 ?g/L and 10 ng/L, respectively. Incubation of water in pipes 8-10 h prior to sampling increased BPA concentration in cold water 1.1-43-fold. Hot water temperature caused even more BPA leaching – at maximum 23.5 ?g/L. The influence of ageing of epoxy lining on BPA leaching on could be shown in case of LSE technology: locations with 8-9 years old lining leached 4-20-fold more BPA compared to a location with 2-year-old lining. Analysis of metals showed that epoxy lining can reduce especially iron concentration in water. No significant burden to water could be shown by the analysed 72 volatile organic compounds, including epichlorhydrin, precursor used in epoxy resin. Oestrogenicity was detected in water samples with the highest BPA loads. Comparable responses of two yeast bioreporters (oestrogen receptor ? and BPA-targeted) indicated that bisphenol-like compounds were the main cause of oestrogenicity. Compared to the estimated average daily BPA exposure, additional BPA load via cold drinking water in the studied locations was low, maximum 8.7%. However, hot water should also be considered as exposure source due to higher BPA concentrations. Epoxy lined locations should be monitored in future in order to evaluate ageing process and control increasing leaching of potentially harmful chemicals.

Authors: Rajasärkkä J, Pernica M, Kuta J, Laš?ák J, Šimek Z, Bláha L. ;Full Source: Water Research. 2016 Jul 15; 103:133-140. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.027. [Epub ahead of print] ;