Modelling PFAS inputs into Port Phillip Bay – A mass flux study aimed at targeting key sources for management (Timothy Coggan, Damien Moodie, Matthew Askeland)
Modelling of PFAS transport in oceanic systems can be incredibly difficult due to their complexity. Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Australia, however, offers a rare opportunity to measure PFAS mass flux out of rivers which traverse rural, industrial, and suburban regions and discharge into a semi-closed bay system. Long residence times due to limited movement of water out of the system along with limited dilution and transport, make Port Phillip Bay an ideal location to characterize and understand the sources, fate, and movement of PFAS on a larger scale thus allowing a better estimation of risk. This information may then be applicable to other marine systems worldwide. A multi-phase study has been undertaken, focusing on PFAS inputs, seasonal variations in mass flux, source identification, and migration of PFAS within the bay (modelling) to increase the understanding of the impact of PFAS upon sensitive receptors, including the environment, humans, and industries reliant upon the bay. A notable difference in seasonal PFAS loading's with respects to both mass and PFAS congener types was observed. With the data suggesting that the contribution of diffuse industrial sources is underestimated as compared to the loading from contaminated sites such as airfields.