Supervising Scientist Report 173
Riethmuller N, Camilleri C, Franklin N, Hogan AC, King A, Koch A, Markich SJ, Turley C & van Dam R
Environment Australia, 2003
ISBN 0 642 24380 8
- SSR173 - Ecotoxicological testing protocols for Australian tropical freshwater ecosystems (PDF - 1,160 KB)
Methodologies and data for deriving water quality standards for ecosystem protection have improved in recent years following the revision of the Australian Water Quality Guidelines (ANZECC & ARMCANZ 2000). The compilation of protocols in this report describes the ecotoxicological control measures developed for use to ensure protection of tropical freshwater ecosystems of northern Australia, with particular reference to the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory.
The approach adopted by eriss was to develop, initially, water quality standards for the Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) based on chemical constituents. Then, recognising the deficiencies of control measures based solely on chemistry, to develop a set of ecotoxicity tests using local site-specific organisms within the ARR that could be used to (i) revise, in limited cases, these standards on the basis of local ecotoxicological data, and (ii) specify the dilution of waste water required to protect aquatic organisms. This approach is still relevant today, the procedures being used to revise standards and being applied to the control of water releases from ERA Ranger Mine NT, and also to assess effects and risks of chemical contaminants to tropical freshwater ecosystems.
This compilation of the ecotoxicological testing protocols developed by eriss for use in the Wet Dry tropics of northern Australia describes historical and recent references to all of the research testing protocols from the past 25 years. Accompanying each protocol is an appendix describing the specific species and culturing/husbandry requirements that have been developed. In addition, comprehensive datasheets are listed for each protocol to provide all the essential information to carry out high quality ecotoxicological testing.