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: 5.26). 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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) have been in the scientific spotlight since the 1980s. However, there has been much less research reported in Australia than in other developed countries and little information is known about how these compounds interact with native Australian species compared to European and North American fauna. This is of concern because Australia has distinct wildlife and environments that face increasing intensity and frequency of extreme, climatic events compared to northern hemisphere countries. Since oestrogenic compounds cannot be prevented from entering wastewater their management and removal must occur at wastewater treatment plants. Biological treatment is the most effective tool in this regard; however the financial and environmental costs must be balanced with the environmental benefit to effectively plan treatment options. Since standard risk assessment models and procedures developed internationally are unlikely to translate well to Australian ecosystems, new, novel and localised research on both the monitoring and assessment of EDCs in Australian wastewater and receiving aquatic environments is recommended. This includes the development of relevant bioassays and application of treatment technologies that reflect the local community and climate.
    Water Science & Technology 12/2013; 68(11):2317-2329. · 1.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The wide occurrence of antibiotics in groundwater raised great scientific interest as well as public awareness in recent years due to their potential ability to spread antibiotic resistant gene and pose risk to humans. The present study investigated the ferrous ion (Fe(II)) activated decomposition of persulfate (S2O8(2-)), as a potential in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) approach, for remediation of groundwater contaminated by antibiotics. Fe(II)-persulfate mediated ciprofloxacin (CIP) degradation was found to be more efficient than sulfamethoxazole (SMX) at near neutral pH (pH6.0), probably due to the higher electric density in CIP molecule and its ability to form complex with Fe(II) as a ligand. Hydroxyl (HO) and sulfate radical (SO4(-)) were determined to be responsible for the degradation of CIP and SMX in Fe(II)-persulfate system by molecular probes. No enhancement in the degradation of CIP was observed when citrate (CA), ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) and (S,S)-ethylenediamine-N,N'-disuccinate (EDDS) were used as Fe(II) chelating agents in Fe(II)-persulfate system. For SMX, CA and EDTA accelerated the degradation by Fe(II)-persulfate. Degradation of antibiotics in river water matrix was nearly the same as that in Milli-Q water, implying the possibility of using Fe(II)-persulfate for antibiotics depletion under environmentally relevant condition. A comparison of the degradation efficiency of SMX with other sulfonamides and sulfanilic acid indicated that the heterocyclic ring has a large impact on the degradation of sulfonamides. Transformation products of CIP and SMX by Fe(II)-persulfate were analyzed by solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPE-LC-MS) technique. Based on the intermediate products, Fe(II)-persulfate mediated CIP degradation pathways were tentatively proposed.
    Science of The Total Environment 12/2013; 472C:800-808. · 3.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A demonstration of artificial groundwater recharge with tertiary effluent was evaluated using a set of bioassays (acute toxicity to Daphnia, genotoxicity, estrogenic and antiestrogenic toxicity). Around 95 % genotoxicity and 53 % antiestrogenicity were removed from the feed water by ozonation, whereas significant reduction of acute toxicity to Daphnia magna was achieved during a 3 days vadose soil treatment. The toxicity was further removed to the same level as the local groundwater during a 20 days aquifer soil treatment. The pilot study has shown that ozonation and soil treatments can improve the quality of municipal wastewater treatment plant effluents for possible groundwater recharge purposes.
    Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 09/2013; · 1.11 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014