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Occurrence and removal of chemicals of emerging concern in wastewater treatment plants and their impact on receiving water systems

Golovko, Oksana and Örn, Stefan and Sörengård, Mattias and Frieberg, Kim and Nassazzi, Winnie and Lai, Foon Yin and Ahrens, Lutz (2021). Occurrence and removal of chemicals of emerging concern in wastewater treatment plants and their impact on receiving water systems. Science of the Total Environment. 754 , 142122
[Research article]

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Abstract

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are considered the main sources of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic environments, and can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems. In this study, WWTP influent, effluent, and sludge, and upstream and downstream waters from the WWTP recipient were investigated at 15 locations for a total of 164 CECs, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, industrial chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and pesticides. In addition, zebrafish (Dania rerio) embryo toxicity tests (ZFET) were applied to WWTP influent and effluent, and upstream and downstream waters from WWTP recipients. A total of 119 CECs were detected in at least one sample, mean concentrations ranging from 0.11 ng/L (propylparaben) to 64,000 ng/L (caffeine), in wastewater samples and from 0.44 ng/L (ciprofloxacin) to 19,000 ng/L (metformin) in surface water samples. Large variations of CEC concentrations were found between the selected WWTPs, which can be explained by differences in CEC composition in influent water and WWTP treatment process. The sludge-water partitioning coefficient (K-d) of CECs showed a significant linear con-elation to octanol/warer partition coefficient (K-ow) (p < 0.001), and thus could be used for predicting their fare in the aqueous and solid phase. The Sigma CEC concentrations in WWTPs declined by on average 60%, based on comparisons of WWTP influent and effluent concentrations. The high concentrations of CECs in WWTP effluent resulted in, on average, 50% higher concentrations of CECs in water downstream of WWTPs compared with upstream. Some WWTP samples showed toxicity in ZFET compared with the respective control group, but no individual CECs or groups of CECs could explain this toxicity. These results could provide a theoretical basis for optimization of existing treatment systems of different designs, and could significantly contribute to protecting recipient waters. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Authors/Creators:Golovko, Oksana and Örn, Stefan and Sörengård, Mattias and Frieberg, Kim and Nassazzi, Winnie and Lai, Foon Yin and Ahrens, Lutz
Title:Occurrence and removal of chemicals of emerging concern in wastewater treatment plants and their impact on receiving water systems
Series Name/Journal:Science of the Total Environment
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:754
Article number:142122
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:0048-9697
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 208 Environmental Biotechnology > Water Treatment
Keywords:Contaminants, Recipient, Removal efficiency, Toxicity, Wastewater
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109624
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109624
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142122
Web of Science (WoS)000593899600021
ID Code:21354
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
(VH) > Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:20 Jan 2021 12:23
Metadata Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 12:31

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