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Attenuation of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in a wastewater treatment plant and its receiving river ecos

Pharmaceuticals are designed to improve human and animal health, but may also be a threat to freshwater ecosystems, particularly after receiving urban or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. Knowledge on the fate and attenuation of pharmaceuticals in engineered and natural ecosystems is rather fragmented, and comparable methods are needed to facilitate the comprehension of those processes amongst systems. In this study the dynamics of 8 pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, sulfapyridine, sulfamethoxazole, carbamazepine, venlafaxine, ibuprofen, diclofenac, diazepam) and 11 of their transformation products were investigated in a WWTP and the associated receiving river ecosystem. During 3 days, concentrations of these compounds were quantified at the influents, effluents, and wastage of the WWTP, and at different distances downstream the effluent at the river. Attenuation (net balance between removal and release from and to the water column) was estimated in both engineered and natural systems using a comparable model-based approach by considering different uncertainty sources (e.g. chemical analysis, sampling, and flow measurements). Results showed that pharmaceuticals load reduction was higher in the WWTP, but attenuation efficiencies (as half-life times) were higher in the river. In particular, the load of only 5 out of the 19 pharmaceuticals was reduced by more than 90% at the WWTP, while the rest were only partially or non-attenuated (or released) and discharged into the receiving river. At the river, only the load of ibuprofen was reduced by more than 50% (out of the 6 parent compounds present in the river), while partial and non-attenuation (or release) was observed for some of their transformation products. Linkages in the routing of some pharmaceuticals (venlafaxine, carbamazepine, ibuprofen and diclofenac) and their corresponding transformation products were also identified at both WWTP and river. Finally, the followed procedure showed that dynamic attenuation in the coupled WWTP-river system could be successfully predicted with simple first order attenuation kinetics for most modeled compounds

This research was supported by the European Communities 7th Framework Programme Marie Curie Career Integration Grant PCIG9-GA-2011-293535. Authors also acknowledge the support from the Economy and Knowledge Department of the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Group 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for funding (CTM2015- 66892-R, CTM2012-38314-C02-01 and RYC-2013-14595)

© Water Research, 2016, vol. 100, p. 126-136

Elsevier

Author: Aymerich, I.
Acuña i Salazar, Vicenç
Barceló i Cullerés, Damià
García-Galán, Maria Jesús
Petrović, Mira
Poch, Manuel
Rodríguez Mozaz, Sara
Rodríguez-Roda Layret, Ignasi
Sabater, Sergi
von Schiller, Daniel
Corominas Tabares, Lluís
Date: 2016 September
Abstract: Pharmaceuticals are designed to improve human and animal health, but may also be a threat to freshwater ecosystems, particularly after receiving urban or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. Knowledge on the fate and attenuation of pharmaceuticals in engineered and natural ecosystems is rather fragmented, and comparable methods are needed to facilitate the comprehension of those processes amongst systems. In this study the dynamics of 8 pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, sulfapyridine, sulfamethoxazole, carbamazepine, venlafaxine, ibuprofen, diclofenac, diazepam) and 11 of their transformation products were investigated in a WWTP and the associated receiving river ecosystem. During 3 days, concentrations of these compounds were quantified at the influents, effluents, and wastage of the WWTP, and at different distances downstream the effluent at the river. Attenuation (net balance between removal and release from and to the water column) was estimated in both engineered and natural systems using a comparable model-based approach by considering different uncertainty sources (e.g. chemical analysis, sampling, and flow measurements). Results showed that pharmaceuticals load reduction was higher in the WWTP, but attenuation efficiencies (as half-life times) were higher in the river. In particular, the load of only 5 out of the 19 pharmaceuticals was reduced by more than 90% at the WWTP, while the rest were only partially or non-attenuated (or released) and discharged into the receiving river. At the river, only the load of ibuprofen was reduced by more than 50% (out of the 6 parent compounds present in the river), while partial and non-attenuation (or release) was observed for some of their transformation products. Linkages in the routing of some pharmaceuticals (venlafaxine, carbamazepine, ibuprofen and diclofenac) and their corresponding transformation products were also identified at both WWTP and river. Finally, the followed procedure showed that dynamic attenuation in the coupled WWTP-river system could be successfully predicted with simple first order attenuation kinetics for most modeled compounds
This research was supported by the European Communities 7th Framework Programme Marie Curie Career Integration Grant PCIG9-GA-2011-293535. Authors also acknowledge the support from the Economy and Knowledge Department of the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Group 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for funding (CTM2015- 66892-R, CTM2012-38314-C02-01 and RYC-2013-14595)
Format: application/pdf
Citation: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.04.022
ISSN: 0043-1354 (versió paper)
1879-2448 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/14128
Language: eng
Publisher: Elsevier
Collection: MINECO/PE 2016-2019/CTM 2015-66892-R
MINECO/PN 2012-2015/CTM2012-38314-C02-01
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.04.022
Articles publicats (D-EQATA)
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/293535
Is part of: © Water Research, 2016, vol. 100, p. 126-136
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Contaminants emergents en l’aigua
Emerging contaminants in water
Aigua -- Contaminació
Water -- Pollution
Aigües residuals -- Depuració
Sewage -- Purification
Medicaments -- Aspectes ambientals
Drugs -- Environmental aspects
Title: Attenuation of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in a wastewater treatment plant and its receiving river ecos
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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