Fate of sulfamethoxazole, 4-nonylphenol, and 17beta-estradiol in groundwater contaminated by wastewater treatment plant effluent.

U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado 80303, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 08/2009; 43(13):4843-50. DOI: 10.1021/es803292v
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Organic wastewater contaminants (OWCs) were measured in samples collected from monitoring wells located along a 4.5-km transect of a plume of groundwater contaminated by 60 years of continuous rapid infiltration disposal of wastewater treatment plant effluent. Fifteen percent of the 212 OWCs analyzed were detected, including the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole (SX), the nonionic surfactant degradation product 4-nonylphenol (NP), the solvent tetrachloroethene (PCE), and the disinfectant 1,4-dichlorobenzene (DCB). Comparison of the 2005 sampling results to data collected from the same wells in 1985 indicates that PCE and DCB are transported more rapidly in the aquiferthan NP, consistent with predictions based on compound hydrophobicity. Natural gradient in situ tracer experiments were conducted to evaluate the subsurface behavior of SX, NP, and the female sex hormone 17beta-estradiol (E2) in two oxic zones in the aquifer: (1) a downgradient transition zone at the interface between the contamination plume and the overlying uncontaminated groundwater and (2) a contaminated zone located beneath the infiltration beds, which have not been loaded for 10 years. In both zones, breakthrough curves for the conservative tracer bromide (Br-) and SX were nearly coincident, whereas NP and E2 were retarded relative to Br- and showed mass loss. Retardation was greater in the contaminated zone than in the transition zone. Attenuation of NP and E2 in the aquifer was attributed to biotransformation, and oxic laboratory microcosm experiments using sediments from the transition and contaminated zones show that uniform-ring-labeled 14C 4-normal-NP was biodegraded more rapidly 130-60% recovered as 14CO2 in 13 days) than 4-14C E2 (20-90% recovered as 14CO2 in 54 days). There was little difference in mineralization potential between sites.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated the sorption potential and transport behaviour of three sulfonamides, namely, sulfamethoxazole (SMO), sulfachloropyridazine (SCP) and sulfamethazine (SM), and a conservative bromide tracer (Br(-)) in two undisturbed soil columns collected from the dairy farming regions in the North Island of New Zealand. Based on the low log Koc values obtained from the sorption study, all three sulfonamides are likely to have high mobility, making them a potential threat to surface and ground water. Soil column studies also showed that the mobility of the sulfonamides varied among soils and antibiotic type. Sulfonamides exhibited a mobility pattern similar to that of conservative Br(-) tracer. Considerable retardation was observed for the Hamilton soil, and the delayed peak arrival time (or maxima) was due to the role of sorption-related retention processes under saturated flow conditions. Residual antibiotic concentrations for SMO and SCP were detected in all soil sections including at 18cm depth, while no resident concentration of SM was detected at any depth in the entire length of the core for both soils. The deterministic, physical equilibrium model (CXTFIT) described the peak arrival time as well as the maximum concentration of the antibiotic breakthrough curves reasonably, but showed some underestimation at the advanced stages of the leaching process. There was a significant difference in the model estimated retardation factors obtained from column study and the experimental retardation factors obtained from the conventional batch sorption experiments.
    Science of The Total Environment 06/2014; 493C:535-543. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), including antibiotics, azole anti-fungals, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, lipid regulators, parabens, antiseptics, and bisphenol A, were investigated in groundwater and reservoirs in the vicinity of two municipal landfills in the metropolis of Guangzhou, South China. Dehydroerythromycin, sulfamethoxazole, fluconazole, salicylic acid, methylparaben, triclosan, and bisphenol A were the mostly frequently detected PPCPs in the groundwater at low ngL(-1) levels. In the reservoirs, the PPCPs were widely detected at higher frequencies and concentrations, especially sulfamethoxazole, propiconazole, and ibuprofen, with maximal concentrations above 1μgL(-1). The PPCPs in the groundwater did not show significant seasonal differences or spatial trends. However, in the reservoirs, higher PPCP concentrations were observed in spring than in other seasons. The anti-bacterials in the groundwater posed medium risks to algae. In the reservoirs, the sulfonamides and macrolides posed low to high risks, while ibuprofen, salicylic acid, and clofibric acid presented low to medium risks to aquatic organisms. Overall, the results showed that the PPCP contaminants and subsequent ecological risks in the groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the landfills may be of serious concern. More research is needed to better correlate the landfill leachates and PPCP contamination in the nearby aquatic environments.
    Science of The Total Environment 06/2014; 490C:889-898. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pharmaceutical contamination of shallow groundwater is a substantial concern in effluent-dominated streams, due to high aqueous mobility, designed bioactivity, and effluent-driven hydraulic gradients. In October and December 2012, effluent contributed approximately 99% and 71%, respectively, to downstream flow in Fourmile Creek, Iowa, USA. Strong hydrologic connectivity was observed between surface-water and shallow-groundwater. Carbamazepine, sulfamethoxazole, and immunologically-related compounds were detected in groundwater at greater than 0.02 μg L−1 at distances up to 6 m from the stream bank. Direct aqueous-injection HPLC-MS/MS revealed 43% and 55% of 110 total pharmaceutical analytes in surface-water samples in October and December, respectively, with 16% and 6%, respectively, detected in groundwater approximately 20 m from the stream bank. The results demonstrate the importance of effluent discharge as a driver of local hydrologic conditions in an effluent-impacted stream and thus as a fundamental control on surface-water to groundwater transport of effluent-derived pharmaceutical contaminants.
    Environmental Pollution 10/2014; 193:173–180. · 3.90 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014