Sources and pathways for pharmaceuticals in the urban water environment

Tuckwell, Rebecca and Revitt, D. Mike and Garelick, Hemda and Jones, Huw and Ellis, John Bryan (2011) Sources and pathways for pharmaceuticals in the urban water environment. In: 12th International Conference on Urban Drainage, 11-16 September, 2011, Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The progress of five pharmaceutical compounds (bezafibrate, carbamazepine, diclofenac, ibuprofen and sulfasalazine) and one antibacterial agent (triclosan) were monitored through the treatment stages of a large sewage treatment works (STW) using activated sludge as well as in the receiving water both upstream and downstream of the effluent discharge. All except sulfasalazine were detected in the influent at concentrations ranging from 1.44-3.75 µg/L. The analysis of prescription data has been used as a tool to predict the amount of pharmaceuticals potentially released into the catchment of the investigated sewage treatment works and the results compared with the measured influent concentrations. A reduction in concentration between influent and final effluent samples (51-97%) indicates the variable removal of these compounds and therefore their potential to be discharged into receiving surface waters. The analysis of primary and final effluents highlight the important processes involved in the removal of pharmaceuticals and indicate that sorption processes are important for bezafibrate, carbamazepine and diclofenac. These three PPCPs were observed at higher concentrations (0.07-0.35 µg/L) downstream of the discharged effluent compared to upstream (0.02-0.04 µg/L) although the risks that these compounds pose in the environment are not yet fully understood.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
ID Code:9033
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Deposited On:03 May 2012 06:35
Last Modified:14 Oct 2014 16:15

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