Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data

Alex Weir, William E. Moiles, Brian Brockman, Carolyn S. Mattick, Kristin McClellan, Lisa Gerwe, Randhir P. Deo, Rolf Halden

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

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organic microcontaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are currently not regulated with regards to wastewater treatment removal. To provide a basis for risk assessment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a nationwide sampling campaign at seventy-four publicly owned treatment works, to assess contamination of biosolids with 145 different pollutants. However, a similar nationwide study of PPCPs contained in treated effluent of such a large number of wastewater treatment plants has never been conducted. In this study, a published empirical model was modified, and applied, to estimate from the biosolids concentrations reported by the EPA, the concentrations in raw and treated wastewater of pharmaceuticals and other organic contaminants. Target chemicals included eight organic compounds: (benzo(a)pyrene, beta-estradiol-3-benzoate, fluoranthene, miconazole, norgestimate, pyrene, triclocarban and triclosan. These compounds were selected based on the hydrophobicity range for which the model previously had been validated. The results of the mass loading estimations are compared to measured concentrations in treatment plant influent and effluent and also are put in relation to contaminant concentrations found in effluent receiving U.S. surface waters. Potential impacts on sensitive environmental receptors as well as potentially effective treatment methods for wastewater are identified and discussed. The removal efficiencies predicted by the model ranged from ≥13% for triclosan to ≥82% for benzo(a)pyrene. Modeled contaminant concentrations in treatment plant influent ranged from 0.025 to 12 μg/L whereas modeled contaminant concentrations in effluent ranged from 0.0062 to 10 μg/L. A comparison of predicted and observed removal efficiencies for triclosan and triclocarban indicated that the model predictions are conservative in nature and comparable to actual measurements made at sewage treatment plants. This study produced the first concentration estimates for beta-estradiol-3-benzoate, miconazole, and norgestimate in surface waters and identified important information gaps concerning ambient concentrations of microcontaminants and associated ecotoxicological effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACS Symposium Series
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Pages421-436
Number of pages16
Volume1048
ISBN (Print)9780841224964
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2010

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
Volume1048
ISSN (Print)00976156
ISSN (Electronic)19475918

Fingerprint

Biosolids
Organic pollutants
Environmental Protection Agency
Triclosan
Surface waters
Wastewater treatment
Effluents
Pyrene
Impurities
Drug products
Miconazole
Monitoring
Benzo(a)pyrene
Wastewater
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Sewage treatment plants
Hydrophobicity
Organic compounds
Risk assessment
Contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this

Weir, A., Moiles, W. E., Brockman, B., Mattick, C. S., McClellan, K., Gerwe, L., ... Halden, R. (2010). Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data. In ACS Symposium Series (Vol. 1048, pp. 421-436). (ACS Symposium Series; Vol. 1048). American Chemical Society. https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2010-1048.ch021

Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data. / Weir, Alex; Moiles, William E.; Brockman, Brian; Mattick, Carolyn S.; McClellan, Kristin; Gerwe, Lisa; Deo, Randhir P.; Halden, Rolf.

ACS Symposium Series. Vol. 1048 American Chemical Society, 2010. p. 421-436 (ACS Symposium Series; Vol. 1048).

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

Weir, A, Moiles, WE, Brockman, B, Mattick, CS, McClellan, K, Gerwe, L, Deo, RP & Halden, R 2010, Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data. in ACS Symposium Series. vol. 1048, ACS Symposium Series, vol. 1048, American Chemical Society, pp. 421-436. https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2010-1048.ch021
Weir A, Moiles WE, Brockman B, Mattick CS, McClellan K, Gerwe L et al. Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data. In ACS Symposium Series. Vol. 1048. American Chemical Society. 2010. p. 421-436. (ACS Symposium Series). https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2010-1048.ch021
Weir, Alex ; Moiles, William E. ; Brockman, Brian ; Mattick, Carolyn S. ; McClellan, Kristin ; Gerwe, Lisa ; Deo, Randhir P. ; Halden, Rolf. / Concentrations of hydrophobic organic pollutants in U.S. wastewater treatment plants and in receiving surface waters modeled from EPA Biosolids monitoring data. ACS Symposium Series. Vol. 1048 American Chemical Society, 2010. pp. 421-436 (ACS Symposium Series).
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abstract = "Organic microcontaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are currently not regulated with regards to wastewater treatment removal. To provide a basis for risk assessment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a nationwide sampling campaign at seventy-four publicly owned treatment works, to assess contamination of biosolids with 145 different pollutants. However, a similar nationwide study of PPCPs contained in treated effluent of such a large number of wastewater treatment plants has never been conducted. In this study, a published empirical model was modified, and applied, to estimate from the biosolids concentrations reported by the EPA, the concentrations in raw and treated wastewater of pharmaceuticals and other organic contaminants. Target chemicals included eight organic compounds: (benzo(a)pyrene, beta-estradiol-3-benzoate, fluoranthene, miconazole, norgestimate, pyrene, triclocarban and triclosan. These compounds were selected based on the hydrophobicity range for which the model previously had been validated. The results of the mass loading estimations are compared to measured concentrations in treatment plant influent and effluent and also are put in relation to contaminant concentrations found in effluent receiving U.S. surface waters. Potential impacts on sensitive environmental receptors as well as potentially effective treatment methods for wastewater are identified and discussed. The removal efficiencies predicted by the model ranged from ≥13{\%} for triclosan to ≥82{\%} for benzo(a)pyrene. Modeled contaminant concentrations in treatment plant influent ranged from 0.025 to 12 μg/L whereas modeled contaminant concentrations in effluent ranged from 0.0062 to 10 μg/L. A comparison of predicted and observed removal efficiencies for triclosan and triclocarban indicated that the model predictions are conservative in nature and comparable to actual measurements made at sewage treatment plants. This study produced the first concentration estimates for beta-estradiol-3-benzoate, miconazole, and norgestimate in surface waters and identified important information gaps concerning ambient concentrations of microcontaminants and associated ecotoxicological effects.",
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