Predicting the concentration range of unmonitored chemicals in wastewater-dominated streams and in run-off from biosolids-amended soils

Bipin P. Chari, Rolf Halden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organic compounds such as sterols and hormones have been detected in surface waters at ecologically relevant concentrations with sources including effluent discharged from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) as well as leachate and runoff from land amended with municipal sludge (biosolids). Greater than 20% of regulated effluents discharged into U.S. surface waters experience in-stream dilution of < 10-fold and potential impacts are particularly likely in receiving waters dominated by POTW effluents. The increasing use of biosolids on agricultural land exerts additional stress, thereby necessitating environmental monitoring for potential ecological and human health effects. Alternatively or in addition to monitoring efforts, screening for potentially hazardous chemicals can be performed using empirical models that are scalable and can deliver results rapidly. The present study makes use of data from U.S. EPA's Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) to predict the aqueous-phase concentrations and removal efficiencies of 10 sterols (campesterol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-stigmastanol, cholesterol, desmosterol, cholestanol, coprostanol, epicoprostanol, and ergosterol) as well as the putative toxicity posed by four specific hormones based on their reported biosolids concentrations using published empirical models. Model predictions indicate that removal efficiencies for sterols are uniformly high (~. 99%) and closely match removal rates calculated from chemical monitoring at POTWs (paired t-test; p= 0.01). Results from toxicity modeling indicate that the hormones estrone, estradiol and estriol had the highest leaching potentials amongst the compounds considered here and that 17 β-ethinylestradiol was found to pose a potentially significant threat to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) via run-off or leaching from biosolids-amended fields. This study exemplifies the use of in silico analysis to (i) identify potentially problematic organic compounds in biosolids, (ii) predict influent and effluent levels for hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) of emerging concern, and (iii) provide initial estimates of runoff concentrations, in this case for four prominent hormones known to act as endocrine disruptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume440
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Fingerprint

Biosolids
biosolid
Hormones
Wastewater
hormone
runoff
Effluents
sterol
Soils
wastewater
Sterols
Cholestanol
Organic compounds
effluent
organic compound
Sewage sludge
Runoff
Surface waters
soil
Leaching

Keywords

  • Biosolids
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Hormones
  • Modeling
  • Sterols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering

Cite this

@article{8af24a2293c74516bb508069019445fa,
title = "Predicting the concentration range of unmonitored chemicals in wastewater-dominated streams and in run-off from biosolids-amended soils",
abstract = "Organic compounds such as sterols and hormones have been detected in surface waters at ecologically relevant concentrations with sources including effluent discharged from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) as well as leachate and runoff from land amended with municipal sludge (biosolids). Greater than 20{\%} of regulated effluents discharged into U.S. surface waters experience in-stream dilution of < 10-fold and potential impacts are particularly likely in receiving waters dominated by POTW effluents. The increasing use of biosolids on agricultural land exerts additional stress, thereby necessitating environmental monitoring for potential ecological and human health effects. Alternatively or in addition to monitoring efforts, screening for potentially hazardous chemicals can be performed using empirical models that are scalable and can deliver results rapidly. The present study makes use of data from U.S. EPA's Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) to predict the aqueous-phase concentrations and removal efficiencies of 10 sterols (campesterol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-stigmastanol, cholesterol, desmosterol, cholestanol, coprostanol, epicoprostanol, and ergosterol) as well as the putative toxicity posed by four specific hormones based on their reported biosolids concentrations using published empirical models. Model predictions indicate that removal efficiencies for sterols are uniformly high (~. 99{\%}) and closely match removal rates calculated from chemical monitoring at POTWs (paired t-test; p= 0.01). Results from toxicity modeling indicate that the hormones estrone, estradiol and estriol had the highest leaching potentials amongst the compounds considered here and that 17 β-ethinylestradiol was found to pose a potentially significant threat to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) via run-off or leaching from biosolids-amended fields. This study exemplifies the use of in silico analysis to (i) identify potentially problematic organic compounds in biosolids, (ii) predict influent and effluent levels for hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) of emerging concern, and (iii) provide initial estimates of runoff concentrations, in this case for four prominent hormones known to act as endocrine disruptors.",
keywords = "Biosolids, Endocrine disruption, Hormones, Modeling, Sterols",
author = "Chari, {Bipin P.} and Rolf Halden",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.042",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "440",
pages = "314--320",
journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Predicting the concentration range of unmonitored chemicals in wastewater-dominated streams and in run-off from biosolids-amended soils

AU - Chari, Bipin P.

AU - Halden, Rolf

PY - 2012/12/1

Y1 - 2012/12/1

N2 - Organic compounds such as sterols and hormones have been detected in surface waters at ecologically relevant concentrations with sources including effluent discharged from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) as well as leachate and runoff from land amended with municipal sludge (biosolids). Greater than 20% of regulated effluents discharged into U.S. surface waters experience in-stream dilution of < 10-fold and potential impacts are particularly likely in receiving waters dominated by POTW effluents. The increasing use of biosolids on agricultural land exerts additional stress, thereby necessitating environmental monitoring for potential ecological and human health effects. Alternatively or in addition to monitoring efforts, screening for potentially hazardous chemicals can be performed using empirical models that are scalable and can deliver results rapidly. The present study makes use of data from U.S. EPA's Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) to predict the aqueous-phase concentrations and removal efficiencies of 10 sterols (campesterol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-stigmastanol, cholesterol, desmosterol, cholestanol, coprostanol, epicoprostanol, and ergosterol) as well as the putative toxicity posed by four specific hormones based on their reported biosolids concentrations using published empirical models. Model predictions indicate that removal efficiencies for sterols are uniformly high (~. 99%) and closely match removal rates calculated from chemical monitoring at POTWs (paired t-test; p= 0.01). Results from toxicity modeling indicate that the hormones estrone, estradiol and estriol had the highest leaching potentials amongst the compounds considered here and that 17 β-ethinylestradiol was found to pose a potentially significant threat to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) via run-off or leaching from biosolids-amended fields. This study exemplifies the use of in silico analysis to (i) identify potentially problematic organic compounds in biosolids, (ii) predict influent and effluent levels for hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) of emerging concern, and (iii) provide initial estimates of runoff concentrations, in this case for four prominent hormones known to act as endocrine disruptors.

AB - Organic compounds such as sterols and hormones have been detected in surface waters at ecologically relevant concentrations with sources including effluent discharged from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) as well as leachate and runoff from land amended with municipal sludge (biosolids). Greater than 20% of regulated effluents discharged into U.S. surface waters experience in-stream dilution of < 10-fold and potential impacts are particularly likely in receiving waters dominated by POTW effluents. The increasing use of biosolids on agricultural land exerts additional stress, thereby necessitating environmental monitoring for potential ecological and human health effects. Alternatively or in addition to monitoring efforts, screening for potentially hazardous chemicals can be performed using empirical models that are scalable and can deliver results rapidly. The present study makes use of data from U.S. EPA's Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) to predict the aqueous-phase concentrations and removal efficiencies of 10 sterols (campesterol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-stigmastanol, cholesterol, desmosterol, cholestanol, coprostanol, epicoprostanol, and ergosterol) as well as the putative toxicity posed by four specific hormones based on their reported biosolids concentrations using published empirical models. Model predictions indicate that removal efficiencies for sterols are uniformly high (~. 99%) and closely match removal rates calculated from chemical monitoring at POTWs (paired t-test; p= 0.01). Results from toxicity modeling indicate that the hormones estrone, estradiol and estriol had the highest leaching potentials amongst the compounds considered here and that 17 β-ethinylestradiol was found to pose a potentially significant threat to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) via run-off or leaching from biosolids-amended fields. This study exemplifies the use of in silico analysis to (i) identify potentially problematic organic compounds in biosolids, (ii) predict influent and effluent levels for hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) of emerging concern, and (iii) provide initial estimates of runoff concentrations, in this case for four prominent hormones known to act as endocrine disruptors.

KW - Biosolids

KW - Endocrine disruption

KW - Hormones

KW - Modeling

KW - Sterols

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84868694625&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84868694625&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.042

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.042

M3 - Article

VL - 440

SP - 314

EP - 320

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

ER -