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Water Res. 2014 Mar 15;51:266-76. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2013.10.070. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Year-long evaluation on the occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and endocrine disrupting chemicals in an urban drinking water treatment plant.

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  • 1School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, United States.
  • 2School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, United States; Department of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, People's Republic of China.
  • 3Integrated Circles Technologies, Inc., Atlanta, GA 30303, United States.
  • 4School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, United States. Electronic address: ching-hua.huang@ce.gatech.edu.

Abstract

The occurrence and removal of thirty representative pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in an urban drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) were investigated for a period of one year to evaluate current system's treatment efficacy and assess occurrence of PPCPs and EDCs in finished drinking water. Results showed that the average total PPCPs and EDCs concentration in the surface water source was around 360 ng/L (median concentration = 340 ng/L) with 57% coefficient of variation (CV). The median concentrations of most of the individual PPCPs and EDCs in the surface water were below 15 ng/L except for N,N-diethyltoluamide (DEET) and nonylphenol, which were at 122 and 83 ng/L, respectively. The compounds DEET, nonylphenol, ibuprofen, triclosan, atrazine, tris(2-chloroethyl)-phosphate (TCEP), bisphenol-A, and caffeine (in the order of decreasing median concentration) were among twenty compounds detected at least once in the surface water, while all of the above detected compounds, except two, were also detected in the finished drinking water. The average total PPCPs and EDCs concentration in the finished drinking water was around 98 ng/L (median concentration = 96 ng/L) with 66% CV. The median concentrations of most detected PPCPs and EDCs in drinking water were below 5 ng/L except for DEET and nonylphenol, which were at 12 and 20 ng/L, respectively. There was a strong correlation (r = 0.97) between PPCPs and EDCs' concentrations in the source water and in the drinking water over the one-year study period when data points from two sampling events with unusual removals were excluded. Individual water treatment unit processes showed greater temporal variations of PPCPs and EDCs removal efficiencies than the overall treatment processes. The removal efficiencies also varied greatly among different PPCPs and EDCs. The average removal for total PPCPs and EDCs was 76 ± 18% at the DWTP, with ozonation showing the highest removal efficiency. Based on the similar occurrence and removal trends observed as that of total PPCPs and EDCs in this study, DEET and nonylphenol can be considered as potential indicator compounds for predicting the occurrence and removal of total PPCPs and EDCs in surface water. No strong correlations could be found between total PPCPs and EDCs removal and the removal of suspended solids, turbidity, or organic carbon.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

DEET; Drinking water treatment; EDCs; Indicator compounds; Nonylphenol; Ozonation; PPCPs

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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