Water Quality Micro-Pollutant Passive Sampler Monitoring Program


As the bulk supplier of drinking water to South East Queensland, Seqwater maintains a Catchment and Drinking Water Quality Micro Pollutant Monitoring Program to ensure a safe and reliable supply of the region’s drinking water source reservoirs. The aim of this program is to identify and understand the presence of micropollutants in the source water reservoirs as well as to recognise any spatial and temporal trends of micropollutants. An extension of this program has been introduced to include the use of passive sampling technologies in the monitoring of source water reservoirs over a three-year period (2020 – 2023; summer and winter sampling campaigns), in order to accurately assess the risk micro pollutants posed to drinking water quality. Additional passive samplers may be deployed at sites when required during high rainfall or event periods.


This project has provided catchment water quality risk assessments across 38 sites in South East Queensland over the last 8 years. Results from each of these summer and winter campaigns have been made publicly available to all Australians via the Seqwater website. The data generated through this project continues to inform the water industry of any water quality risks and guideline exceedances. The tools applied and developed through this project have been used for multiple other sampling campaigns across Australia. This project provides one of the very few long-term datasets of its kind in Australia and this helps us to understand temporal trends in pollutant exposure and monitoring in Australian waterways. 

Research Outputs

Schulze, B., Heffernan, A.L., Samanipour, S., Gomez Ramos, M.J., Veal, C., Thomas, K.V. and Kaserzon, S.L., 2023. Is Nontarget Analysis Ready for Regulatory Application? Influence of Peak-Picking Algorithms on Data Analysis. Analytical Chemistry95(50), pp.18361-18369.

Lohmann, R., Vrana, B., Muir, D., Smedes, F., Sobotka, J., Zeng, E.Y., Bao, L.J., Allan, I.J., Astrahan, P., Barra, R.O. and Bidleman, T., 2023. Passive-Sampler-Derived PCB and OCP Concentrations in the Waters of the World─ First Results from the AQUA-GAPS/MONET Network. Environmental science & technology57(25), pp.9342-9352.

Rauert, C., Kaserzon, S.L., Veal, C., Yeh, R.Y., Mueller, J.F. and Thomas, K.V., 2020. The first environmental assessment of hexa (methoxymethyl) melamine and co-occurring cyclic amines in Australian waterways. Science of the Total Environment743, p.140834.

Verhagen, R., O'Malley, E., Smedes, F., Mueller, J.F. and Kaserzon, S., 2019. Calibration parameters for the passive sampling of organic UV filters by silicone; diffusion coefficients and silicone–water partition coefficients. Chemosphere223, pp.731-737.

Conference Abstracts

Veal, C., Kaserzon, S., Duff, J., Mueller, J., Shillito, D. Characterizing micro-pollutant use and fate in South East Queensland. Australian Water Association’s OzWater’17 Conference, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 16-18 May 2017. 

Research Impact

The work with Seqwater has led to the development and application of new monitoring tools to address challenging water pollutants such as glyphosate, per-and-poly-fluorinated chemicals, tyre wear particles, and UV filters. Seqwater and QAEHS continue to expand and improve the developed technologies that address current and emerging chemicals of concern. 


Project members

A/Prof Sarit Kaserzon

Co-Theme Leader, Environmental Health Risk Assessment

Prof Jochen Mueller

Theme Leader, Emerging Environmental Health Risks