Whole Effluent Toxicity: Tool for Risk Assessment and Management of Hazardous Chemicals in Watershed Area

  • Hiroshi Yamamoto


The number of chemical compounds used by human activities has continuously been growing, but the risk assessment/management of hazardous chemicals is usually based on individual compound, and the risk of unknown/unregulated compounds and mixture effects are ignored. Thus, whole effluent toxicity using aquatic organisms has been used for effluents of factories and municipal wastewater treatment plants in some countries such as the USA, Canada, Germany, and South Korea. In this section, the bioassay protocol proposed in Japan is introduced, and some results obtained from the application to the selected effluents and watershed areas are presented.


Algae Ambient water Daphnia Ecotoxicity Fish embryo 


  1. Anderson BS, Philips BM, Hunt JW, Worcester K, Adams M, Kapellas N, Tieerdema RS (2006) Evidence of pesticide impacts in the Santa Maria River Watershed, California, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem 25:1160–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey HC, Krassoi R, Elphick JR, Mulhall AM, Hunt P, Tedmanson L, Lovell A (2000) Application of Ceriodaphnia dubia for whole effluent toxicity tests in the Hawkesbury-Nepean watershed, New South Wales, Australia: method development and validation. Environ Toxicol Chem 19:88–93Google Scholar
  3. Baun A, Bussarawit N, Nyholm N (1998) Screening of pesticide toxicity in surface water from an agricultural area at Phuket Island (Thailand). Environ Pollut 102:185–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brack W (2003) Effect-directed analysis: a promising tool for the identification of organic toxicants in complex mixtures? Anal Bioanal Chem 377:397–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chemical Abstracts Service (2016) CAS Home Page. Last accessed 25 Dec 2016
  6. Environment Canada (2013) National Environmental Effects Monitoring Office. Last accessed 7 Feb 2018
  7. Fang YX, Ying GG, Zhang LJ, Zhao JL, Su HC, Yang B, Liu S (2012) Use of TIE technique to characterize industrial effluents in the Pearl River Delta region. Ecotox Environ Safe 76:143–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany (2004) Waste water ordinanceGoogle Scholar
  9. Hatakeyama H, Shiraishi H, Sugaya Y (1991) Monitoring of the overall pesticide toxicity of river water to aquatic organisms using freshwater shrimp, Paratya compressa improvisa. Chemosphere 22:229–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hosokawa M, Endo G, Kuroda K (1995) Acute toxic effect of River Yodo water (Japan) on Daphnia magna. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 55:419–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kayhanian M, Stransky C, Bay S, Lau S-L, Stenstrom MK (2008) Toxicity of urban highway runoff with respect to storm duration. Sci Total Environ 389:386–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kikuchi M, Tokunaga Y, Kikuchi M, Sato A, Umeda Y, Sawai J (2008) A 10 years study of the responses of Daphnia Magna to river water in urbanized area. J Environ Chem 18:361–368. (Manuscript written in Japanese and Tables/Figures in English)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Korea Ministry of Environment (2006) Water environment management master plan outline (2006~2015)- clean water, Eco River 2015. Korea Environ Policy Bull IV(3):1–10Google Scholar
  14. Maltby L, Clayton SA, Yu H, McLoughlin N, Wood RM (2000) Using single-species toxicity tests, community-level responses, and toxicity identification evaluations to investigate effluent impacts. Environ Toxicol Chem 19:151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ministry of the Environment and National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (2013) Test methods for effluent using bioassay (draft)Google Scholar
  16. Ministry of the Environment and National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (2014) Test methods for effluent using bioassay (Revised draft)Google Scholar
  17. Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (2011) Water quality standards for water pollution. Last accessed 25 Dec 2016
  18. Morita J, Yasuda Y, Kagota K, Tamura I, Tatarazako N, Yamamoto H (2012) Short-term chronic toxicity test of three aquatic organisms applied to first class rivers in Japan. J Civil Eng G (Environment) 68(7):III_217–III_225Google Scholar
  19. National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) (2016) Archives of CSCL. Last accessed 25 Dec 2016
  20. Norberg-King TJ, Ausley LW, Burton DT, Goodfellow WL, Miller JL, Waller WT (2005) Toxicity reduction and toxicity identification evaluations for effluents, ambient waters, and other aqueous media. SETAC Press, Pensacola BeachGoogle Scholar
  21. OECD (2016) Manual for the assessment of chemicals. Last accessed 25 Dec 2016
  22. Okamura H, Luo R, Aoyama I (1996) Ecotoxicity assessment of the aquatic environment around Lake Kojima, Japan. Environ Toxicol, Wat Qual 11:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peeters ETHM, Dewitte A, Koelmans AA, van der Velden JA, den Besten PJ (2001) Evaluation of bioassays versus contaminant concentrations in explaining the macroinvertebrate community structure in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands. Environ Toxicol Chem 20:2883–2891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Power EA, Boumphrey RS (2004) International trends in bioassay use for effluent management. Ecotoxicology 13:377–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ra JS, Kim SD, Chang NI, An KG (2007) Ecological health assessment based on whole effluent toxicity tests and the index of biological integrity in temperate streams influenced by wastewater treatment plant effluents. Environ Toxicol Chem 26:2010–2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sarakinos HC, Bermingham N, White PA, Rasmussen JB (2000) Correspondence between whole effluent toxicity and the presence of priority substances in complex industrial effluents. Environ Toxicol Chem 19:63–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sasaki Y, Kise H, Matsui M, Yoshizumi T, Wakabayashi M, Kikuchi M (2000) Bioassay for the assessment of environmental toxicity of river water. J Environ Chem 10:45–55. (Manuscript written in Japanese and Tables/Figures in English)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tamura I, Yasuda Y, Kagota K, Yoneda S, Kumar V, Nakada N, Kimura K, Kameda Y, Yamamoto H (2017) Contribution of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) to whole toxicity of the water samples collected in effluent-dominated urban streams. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 144:338–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. USEPA (1991) Technical support document for water quality-based toxics control, EPA/505/2-90-001Google Scholar
  30. USEPA (2002a) Methods for measuring the acute toxicity of effluents and receiving waters to freshwater and marine organisms, 5th edn. DIANE Publishing, CollingdaleGoogle Scholar
  31. USEPA (2002b) Short-term methods for estimation the chronic toxicity of effluents and receiving waters to freshwater organisms, 4th edn. DIANE Publishing, CollingdaleGoogle Scholar
  32. USEPA (2002c) Short-term methods for estimation the chronic toxicity of effluents and receiving waters to marine organisms, 3rd edn. DIANE Publishing, CollingdaleGoogle Scholar
  33. USEPA (2004) WET implementation guidance, EPA 832-B-04-003Google Scholar
  34. Vigano L, Bassi A, Garino A (1996) Toxicity evaluation of waters from a tributary of the River Po using the 7-day Ceriodaphnia dubia test. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 35:199–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vlaming VD, Connor V, DiGiorgio C, Bailey HC, Deanovic LA, Hinton DE (2000) Application of whole effluent toxicity test procedures to ambient water quality assessment. Environ Toxicol Chem 19:42–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yamamoto H, Tatarazako N, Niino T (2015) Current trends and future perspectives on evaluation and control of toxic chemicals in effluents using bioassay. J Environ Chem 25:3–10. (Manuscript written in Japanese and Tables/Figures in English)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yasuda Y, Yoneda S, Tamura I, Kagota K, Nakada N, Hanamoto S, Kameda Y, Kimura K, Tatarazako N, Yamamoto H (2011) Short-term chronic toxicity tests applied to river water contaminated by treated and untreated domestic sewage. J Civil Eng G (Environment) 67(7):III_249–III_256Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations