Pollution Sourcing

Dan MacMahon and Steve Marshall deploying a passive sampler into a subterranean drain
to assess point source pollution.
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Pollution Sourcing

By identifying sources of pollution, CAPIM enables water managers and authorities to direct resources towards priority areas and reduce pollution while saving time and money.

Pollution sourcing can be conducted in catchments, council areas or even stormwater sub-catchments. The techniques applied can be tailored to suit particular situations. Examples of the types of pollution sourcing activities conducted by CAPIM include:

  • Passive sampling in stormwater drains and creeks to detect industrial, commercial and agricultural pollution and sewer leaks
  • Development and use of Bacteroides species to identify sources of faecal pollution (humans, dogs, cattle or seagulls) by monitoring stormwater, creeks and beaches.



Case studies

Case Study 1: Electroplating industry investigation


Objective: Use passive samplers to assess heavy metal concentrations in local waterways resulting from electroplatying businesses discharges.
Outcome: EPA Victoria were able to assess the efficacy of their education program by comparing heavy metal concentrations before and after its delivery to electroplatying businesses.

Case Study 2: Identification of a mercury pollution source in an industrial estate


Objective: Deploy passive samplers into subterranean drains throughout the industrial estate to identify the business(es) most likely to be discharging mercury into the local aquatic environment.
Outcome: Following a four week investigation, we were able to identify a business which was subsequently fined and prosecuted by EPA Victoria.

Case Study 3: Connecting Planning Land Use Controls with Source Pollution Monitoring


Objective: Undertake an integrated passive sampling program to identify local businesses in breech of permitted land uses and enable the Greater Dandenong Council’s planning compliance team to enforce compliance.
Outcome: The data provided by CAPIM to the Greater Dandenong Council has been instrumental in the Council’s engagement with polluting businesses and enabled the identification of high risk premises across a number of industrial estates.