Fate of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and hormones during treatment in two wastewater treatment plants

Laurel Dodgen, Wei Zheng, Nancy Holm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Trace organic chemicals in surface waters are an emerging ecological hazard. The majority of trace organic contaminants are added to the environment in human and animal waste. A suite of 19 pharmaceuticals, personal care products, natural hormones, and synthetic hormones were quantified in the influent and effluent of two municipal wastewater treatment plants at quarterly intervals for 3 years. In addition, outflow from each treatment step was analyzed twice a year during that period. Influent had a mean detection of 11 compounds at a sum of 79.2 μg/L, while effluent had a mean detection of 10.25 compounds at a sum of 2.0 μg/L. Primary treatment was the major removal process for both sites. Some compounds had high removal rates, like caffeine that had mean concentrations over 10 μg/L in influent but less than 0.3 μg/L in effluent. In contrast, some compounds had essentially no removal, such as carbamazepine, gemfibrozil, and sulfamethoxazole. Large variabilities in the sum of compounds were observed between seasons and years, but the overall compound profile of detection remained consistent. A receiving stream was also analyzed twice a year, and elevated levels of these compounds were measured at sites downstream.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • ISTC

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    Dodgen, L., Zheng, W., & Holm, N. (2017). Fate of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and hormones during treatment in two wastewater treatment plants. In 2017 Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference