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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Aug 30;192(2):772-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.05.079. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Ecotoxicological evaluation of three tertiary wastewater treatment techniques via meta-analysis and feeding bioassays using Gammarus fossarum.

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  • 1Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau Campus, Fortstrasse 7, D-76829 Landau, Germany.


Advanced treatment techniques, like ozone, activated carbon and TiO(2) in combination with UV, are proposed to improve removal efficiency of micropollutants during wastewater treatment. In a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed literature, we found significantly reduced overall ecotoxicity of municipal wastewaters treated with either ozone (n=667) or activated carbon (=113), while TiO(2) and UV was not yet assessed. As comparative investigations regarding the detoxification potential of these advanced treatment techniques in municipal wastewater are scarce, we assessed them in four separate Gammarus-feeding trials with 20 replicates per treatment. These bioassays indicate that ozone concentrations of approximately 0.8mg ozone/mg DOC may produce toxic transformation products. However, referred effects are removed if higher ozone concentrations are used (1.3mg ozone/mg DOC). Moreover, the application of 1g TiO(2)/l and ambient UV consistently reduced ecotoxicity. Although activated carbon may remove besides micropollutants also nutrients, which seemed to mask its detoxification potential, this treatment technique reduced the ecotoxicity of the wastewater following its amendment with nutrients. Hence, all three advanced treatment techniques are suitable to reduce the ecotoxicity of municipal wastewater mediated by micropollutants and may hence help to meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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