Transport of Chemical and Microbial Compounds From Known Wastewater Discharges: Potential for Use as Indicators of Human Fecal Contamination

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, MS 564, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 08/2005; 39(14):5157-69. DOI: 10.1021/es048120k
Source: PubMed


The quality of drinking and recreational water is currently (2005) determined using indicator bacteria. However, the culture tests used to analyze forthese bacteria require a long time to complete and do not discriminate between human and animal fecal material sources. One complementary approach is to use chemicals found in human wastewater, which would have the advantages of (1) potentially shorter analysis times than the bacterial culture tests and (2) being selected for human-source specificity. At 10 locations, water samples were collected upstream and at two successive points downstream from a wastewaster treatment plant (WWTP); a treated effluent sample was also collected at each WWTP. This sampling plan was used to determine the persistence of a chemically diverse suite of emerging contaminants in streams. Samples were also collected at two reference locations assumed to have minimal human impacts. Of the 110 chemical analytes investigated in this project, 78 were detected at least once. The number of compounds in a given sample ranged from 3 at a reference location to 50 in a WWTP effluent sample. The total analyte load at each location varied from 0.018 microg/L at the reference location to 97.7 microg/L in a separate WWTP effluent sample. Although most of the compound concentrations were in the range of 0.01-1.0 microg/L, in some samples, individual concentrations were in the range of 5-38 microg/L. The concentrations of the majority of the chemicals present in the samples generally followed the expected trend: they were either nonexistent or at trace levels in the upstream samples, had their maximum concentrations in the WWTP effluent samples, and then declined in the two downstream samples. This research suggests that selected chemicals are useful as tracers of human wastewater discharge.

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    • "The latter determine transport behavior (water dissolved, particle-associated) and elimination mechanisms (sorption, volatilization, chemical or biological degradation) of the substances in the rivers. For example, the anticonvulsant carbamazepine behaves relatively conservative (transport in the water phase, low degradability) and was proposed as a persistent marker tracing the pathways of treated sewage (Clara et al., 2004; Glassmeyer et al., 2005; Nakada et al., 2008). The synthetic musks HHCB (galaxolide, 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8- hexamethylcyclopenta-g-2-benzopyran) and AHTN (Tonalide, 7- Acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene) were characterized by a pronounced seasonality in surface water due to their temperature-dependent attenuation in WWTPs (Musolff et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of organic micropollutants are emitted into rivers via municipal wastewaters. Due to their persistence many pollutants pass wastewater treatment plants without substantial removal. Transport and fate of pollutants in receiving waters and export to downstream ecosystems is not well understood. In particular, a better knowledge of processes governing their environmental behavior is needed. Although a lot of data are available concerning the ubiquitous presence of micropollutants in rivers, accurate data on transport and removal rates are lacking. In this paper, a mass balance approach is presented, which is based on the Lagrangian sampling scheme, but extended to account for precise transport velocities and mixing along river stretches. The calculated mass balances allow accurate quantification of pollutants' reactivity along river segments. This is demonstrated for representative members of important groups of micropollutants, e.g. pharmaceuticals, musk fragrances, flame retardants, and pesticides. A model-aided analysis of the measured data series gives insight into the temporal dynamics of removal processes. The occurrence of different removal mechanisms such as photooxidation, microbial degradation, and volatilization is discussed. The results demonstrate, that removal processes are highly variable in time and space and this has to be considered for future studies. The high precision sampling scheme presented could be a powerful tool for quantifying removal processes under different boundary conditions and in river segments with contrasting properties. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Science of The Total Environment 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.135 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    • "Generally, values near or greater than 0.2 were found in populous locations such as Hanoi (site HN1 0.96, HN2 0.86, HN3 0.88, HN4 0.37, HN5 0.82), Red10 (0.32, downstream of Hanoi), urban areas of Hue (HU4 0.19) and Danang (DN3 0.46), and HCMC (HCM6 0.30, HCM7 0.67, HCM9 0.79, HCM10 0.3, HCM11 0.20) (Table S1). Glassmeyer et al. (2005) suggested that a ratio exceeding 0.3 indicates fecal contamination. This means that wastewater containing feces from households was directly discharged into rivers or canals in urban areas, and domestic wastewater treatment plants were not operating effectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid increase in the number and volume of chemical substances being used in modern society has been accompanied by a large number of potentially hazardous chemicals being found in environmental samples. In Vietnam, the monitoring of chemical substances is mainly limited to a small number of known pollutants in spite of rapid economic growth and urbanization, and there is an urgent need to examine a large number of chemicals to prevent impacts from expanding environmental pollution. However, it is difficult to analyze a large number of chemicals using existing methods, because they are time consuming and expensive. In the present study, we determined 1153 substances to grasp a pollution picture of microcontaminants in the aquatic environment. To achieve this objective, we have used two comprehensive analytical methods: (1) solid-phase extraction (SPE) and LC-TOF-MS analysis, and (2) SPE and GC-MS analysis. We collected 42 samples from northern (the Red River and Hanoi), central (Hue and Danang), and southern (Ho Chi Minh City and Saigon-Dongnai River) Vietnam. One hundred and sixty-five compounds were detected at least once. The compounds detected most frequently (>40 % samples) at μg/L concentrations were sterols (cholesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, coprostanol), phthalates (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate), and pharmaceutical and personal care products (caffeine, metformin). These contaminants were detected at almost the same detection frequency as in developed countries. The results reveal that surface waters in Vietnam, particularly in the center of large cities, are polluted by a large number of organic micropollutants, with households and business activities as the major sources. In addition, risk quotients (MEC/PNEC values) for nonylphenol, sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, acetaminophen, erythromycin and clarithromycin were higher than 1, which indicates a possibility of adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11356-015-5060-z · 2.83 Impact Factor
    • "Regarding to these studies, many of the broad lists have been developed for sewage markers which cause multiple potential markers, consuming a lot of time and also increasing high cost of analysis (Cronin et al., 2006; Eaton, 2012; Glassmeyer et al., 2005a,b). Thus, it remains very challenging to accurately estimate sewage leakage and to fully understand its migration in the subsurface area. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) are emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) in the aquatic environment. The presence of PPCPs and ASs in water bodies has an ecologic potential risk and health concern. Therefore, it is needed to detect the pollution sources by understanding the transport behavior of sewage molecular markers in a subsurface area. The aim of this study was to evaluate transport of nine selected molecular markers through saturated soil column experiments. The selected sewage molecular markers in this study were six PPCPs including acetaminophen (ACT), carbamazepine (CBZ), caffeine (CF), crotamiton (CTMT), diethyltoluamide (DEET), salicylic acid (SA) and three ASs including acesulfame (ACF), cyclamate (CYC), and saccharine (SAC). Results confirmed that ACF, CBZ, CTMT, CYC and SAC were suitable to be used as sewage molecular markers since they were almost stable against sorption and biodegradation process during soil column experiments. In contrast, transport of ACT, CF and DEET were limited by both sorption and biodegradation processes and 100% removal efficiency was achieved in the biotic column. Moreover, in this study the effect of different acetate concentration (0-100mg/L) as an easily biodegradable primary substrate on a removal of PPCPs and ASs was also studied. Results showed a negative correlation (r(2)>0.75) between the removal of some selected sewage chemical markers including ACF, CF, ACT, CYC, SAC and acetate concentration. CTMT also decreased with the addition of acetate, but increasing acetate concentration did not affect on its removal. CBZ and DEET removal were not dependent on the presence of acetate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Chemosphere 07/2015; 138:553-559. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.07.008 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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