ECOTECH - Production durable et technologies de l'environnement

Innovative tools for groundwater monitoring : passive sampling combined with isotope characterization – ORIGAMI

Submission summary

The last European regulation relative to the quality of waters aims to reach a good ecological and chemical status before 2015. A network of measurements is thus implemented for the surveillance of water including groundwater. In this context monitoring tools are needed. The classical approach used is based on a spot sample of groundwater followed by a laboratory analysis. This approach presents well known drawbacks (such as evaluation of the chemical quality based on one spot sample only, transport of large volumes of water …). Another approach based on passive sampling has been developed since 15 years and allows to overcome the drawbacks of the classic approach (obtaining of a time weighted average sample, transport of phases and not of large water volumes, …..). While several studies present the application of passive samplers in surface waters, there are few studies applied to groundwater. Nevertheless, the use of passive samplers in groundwater would be particularly interesting (obtaining of a time weighted average concentration for hydrological systems subjected to variations of concentrations, revealing of the stratification of the pollution by the deployment of passive samplers at different depths) but requires some studies to take into account the specificities of subterranean waters (low water flow).
The accumulation of compounds over the time of deployment might provide enough quantity in compounds to implement isotopic characterization. These can be used for a better understanding of behavior and fate of pollutants. Even if passive sampling coupled with isotopic characterization has not been used yet, it seems promising but requires an optimization of the experimental conditions.
In this context, the objective of the project ORIGAMI is to develop innovative tools based on the passive sampling coupled with isotopic characterization for the surveillance of groundwater. Among pollutants of interest, pollutants regulated by the DCE in groundwater such as nitrates and pesticides but also metals will be studied (Cd, Pb and Zn). As no commercial passive sampler can be used for the glyphosate and its main metabolite the AMPA, a new passive sampler based on a molecular imprinted polymer will be also developed. An experimental study will allow defining the conditions of applicability of passive sampling in groundwater. The accumulation of compounds by passive samplers will be used to perform isotopic characterization to obtain information on the origin of pollution due to nitrates and metals. Else, field trials will be conducted in order to demonstrate the usefulness of innovative tools developed in the project ORIGAMI in comparison with the classical approach. BRGM, a public research institution, ICOA, an academic partner and 2 private partners POLYINTELL and SUEZ Environnement are involved in this fundamental research project for 3 years. The project ORIGAMI asked the label of DREAM, as the issue of this project is in adequation with the thematic fields of this competitiveness cluster.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.



Help of the ANR 422,045 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2012 - 36 Months

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