Tai Lake (Ch: Taihu), which is the largest lake in Jiangsu province, China, has been affected by human activities. As part of a concerted effort to improve water quality to protect the integrity of the Tai Lake ecosystem, a water quality criterion (WQC) was developed for copper II (Cu). The acute WQC was based on 440 values for acute toxicity of Cu to 24 species from 6 phyla, 16 families and 20 genera. In addition, 255 values for chronic toxicity of Cu to 10 species from 5 phyla, 8 families and 9 genera were used to derive chronic WQC. Instead of using a traditional approach based Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSD), a Weighted Species Sensitivity Distribution(WSSD) approach was used to calculate the cumulative probability based on endemic species to Tai Lake. Acute and chronic WQC developed by use of the WSSD were 5.3 and 3.7 Cu μg/L, respectively. While the WQC values were comparable to those of other countries, there were slight differences due to variability in species composition of different regions. The site-specific criteria indicated that the current standard set for surface water by the Chinese government might not be protective of aquatic organisms in Tai Lake.
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China，etc.
John Giesy；Hongling Liu, Dr.；