Author(s): Jelic A, Gros M, Ginebreda A, CespedesSnchez R, Ventura F,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract During 8 sampling campaigns carried out over a period of two years, 72 samples, including influent and effluent wastewater, and sludge samples from three conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), were analyzed to assess the occurrence and fate of 43 pharmaceutical compounds. The selected pharmaceuticals belong to different therapeutic classes, i.e. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lipid modifying agents (fibrates and statins), psychiatric drugs (benzodiazepine derivative drugs and antiepileptics), histamine H2-receptor antagonists, antibacterials for systemic use, beta blocking agents, beta-agonists, diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and anti-diabetics. The obtained results showed the presence of 32 target compounds in wastewater influent and 29 in effluent, in concentrations ranging from low ng/L to a few μg/L (e.g. NSAIDs). The analysis of sludge samples showed that 21 pharmaceuticals accumulated in sewage sludge from all three WWTPs in concentrations up to 100 ng/g. This indicates that even good removal rates obtained in aqueous phase (i.e. comparison of influent and effluent wastewater concentrations) do not imply degradation to the same extent. For this reason, the overall removal was estimated as a sum of all the losses of a parent compound produces by different mechanisms of chemical and physical transformation, biodegradation and sorption to solid matter. The target compounds showed very different removal rates and no logical pattern in behaviour even if they belong to the same therapeutic groups. What is clear is that the elimination of most of the substances is incomplete and improvements of the wastewater treatment and subsequent treatments of the produced sludge are required to prevent the introduction of these micro-pollutants in the environment. Copyright Â© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques