Modeling the transport of PCDD/F compounds in a contaminated river and the possible influence of restoration dredging on calculated fluxes.Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Aug 01; 37(15):3413-21.ES
River Kymijoki, the fourth largest river in Finland, has been heavily polluted by pulp mill effluents as well as by chemical industry. Loading has been reduced considerably, although remains of past emissions still exist in river sediments. The sediments are highly contaminated with polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated diphenyl ethers (PCDEs), and mercury originating from production of the chlorophenolic wood preservative (Ky-5) and other sources. The objective of this study was to simulate the transport of these PCDD/F compounds with a one-dimensional flow and transport model and to assess the impact of restoration dredging. Using the estimated trend in PCDD/F loading, downstream concentrations were calculated until 2020. If contaminated sediments are removed by dredging, the temporary increase of PCDD/F concentrations in downstream water and surface sediments will be within acceptable limits. Long-term predictions indicated only a minor decrease in surface sediment concentrations but a major decrease if the most contaminated sediments close to the emission source were removed. A more detailed assessment of the effects is suggested.