Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2003
Previous Article Next Article

Monitoring of the three organophosphate esters TBP, TCEP and TBEP in river water and ground water (Oder, Germany)

Author affiliations


The behaviour of the three organophosphate esters tributyl phosphate (TBP), tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) and tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate (TBEP) during infiltration of river water to ground water has been investigated. The monitoring site is the Oder River and the adjacent Oderbruch aquifer. From March 2000 to July 2001, 76 ground water samples from monitoring wells located close to the Oder River and nine river water samples were collected. Additionally, influent and effluent samples from local waste water treatment plants, one sample of rain water and samples of roof runoff were collected. All samples were analysed by solid-phase-extraction followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. TBP, TCEP and TBEP were detected at mean values of 622 ng l−1, 352 ng l−1, and 2955 ng l−1, respectively in municipal waste water effluents. This points to a major input of these compounds into the Oder River by municipal waste water discharge. The concentrations of TBP and TBEP decreased downstream the Oder River possibly due to aerobic degradation. TBP, TCEP and TBEP were detected in ground water influenced predominantly by bank-filtered water. This demonstrates a transport of organic compounds by river water infiltration to ground water. TBP, TCEP and TBEP were also detected in rain water precipitation, roof runoff and ground water predominantly influenced by rain water infiltration. This hints to an input of these compounds to ground water by dry and wet deposition after atmospheric transport. Organophosphate esters were also detected in parts of the aquifer at 21 m depth. This demonstrates low anaerobic degradation rates of TBP, TCEP and TBEP.

Back to tab navigation

Article information

21 Oct 2002
09 Jan 2003
First published
07 Feb 2003

J. Environ. Monit., 2003,5, 346-352
Article type

Monitoring of the three organophosphate esters TBP, TCEP and TBEP in river water and ground water (Oder, Germany)

E. Fries and W. Püttmann, J. Environ. Monit., 2003, 5, 346
DOI: 10.1039/B210342G

Search articles by author