By James A. Buckley
Water Research, Volume 17, Issue 12, 1983, Pages 1929-1934, ISSN 0043-1354, DOI: 10.1016/0043-1354(83)90216-6.

Measurements by cupric ion electrode of the complexing capacity of the effluent from a sewage treatment plant (STPE) averaged 0.300 mg 1-1. Of the complexed Cu 67% was due to compounds of [less-than-or-equals, slant] 10,000 MW. Organic compounds removable by activated carbon composed 88% of the total organic carbon and were responsible for 87% of the complexation. Complexation of Cu2+ by STPE diminishes the toxicity from total Cu to juvenile coho salmon; the LC50 was 0.164 mg 1-1 for river water vs 0.286 mg 1-1 for 40% STPE. The LC50 of Cu2+ was approximately the same (0.017 vs 0.022 mg 1-1) in both matrices; this species thus appears to play a toxic role. The mean survival time in diluted STPE with added Cu was inversely proportional to the Cu2+ concentration.
Keywords: copper; sewage; effluent; salmon; trace metal; complexation; organic compounds; LC50; survival

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