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Water Res. 2011 Jul;45(13):4019-27. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.05.014. Epub 2011 May 25.

Occurrence and suitability of sucralose as an indicator compound of wastewater loading to surface waters in urbanized regions.

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  • 1MWH Americas Inc., 618 Michillinda Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007, USA.


Urban watersheds are susceptible to numerous pollutant sources and the identification of source-specific indicators can provide a beneficial tool in the identification and control of input loads, often times needed for a water body to achieve designated beneficial uses. Differentiation of wastewater flows from other urban wet weather flows is needed in order to more adequately address such environmental concerns as water body nutrient impairment and potable source water contamination. Anthropogenic compounds previously suggested as potential wastewater indicators include caffeine, carbamazepine, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), gemfibrozil, primidone, sulfamethoxazole, and TCEP. This paper compares the suitability of a variety of anthropogenic compounds to sucralose, an artificial sweetener, as wastewater indicators by examining occurrence data for 85 trace organic compounds in samples of wastewater effluents, source waters with known wastewater point source inputs, and sources without known wastewater point source inputs. The findings statistically demonstrate the superior performance of sucralose as a potential indicator of domestic wastewater input in the U.S. While several compounds were detected in all of the wastewater effluent samples, only sucralose was consistently detected in the source waters with known wastewater discharges, absent in the sources without wastewater influence, and consistently present in septic samples. All of the other compounds were prone to either false negatives or false positives in the environment.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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