Development and use of the copper bioavailability assessment tool (Draft)

A Copper Bioavailability Tool has been developed that simplifies the integrated Biotic Ligand Model but runs in MS Excel.  It requires data input for site-specific dissolved organic carbon, pH and calcium. The tool uses a series of algorithms and constants which can be readily automated within current regulatory data management systems. The performance of this model against the original version is reviewed and discussed in this report. Guidance on the use of the Mn bioavailability assessment tool and interpretation of its outputs, along with screenshots, is given in this report. Equivalent tools have been developed for manganese, zinc and nickel.

This report supercedes previous Environment Agency reports on Cu bioavailability assessment tools/screening tools (eg Environment Agency 2009a). The key change between those previous reports and this one is the revision of the calculation process and finalisation of process and terminology.

Finally, an assessment is provided for matched monitoring data from samples and sites in England, Wales and Scotland failing the existing, hardness-based EQS, and using the BAT to account for Cu bioavailability. The results of this assessment show that of these 513 failures over 80% passed when bioavailability was accounted for.
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