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Chemosphere. 2007 Jun;68(3):428-35. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Comparison of the occurrence of antibiotics in four full-scale wastewater treatment plants with varying designs and operations.

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Department of Chemistry, The State University of New York at Buffalo, 608 Natural Sciences Complex, Buffalo, NY 14260-3000, USA.


The occurrence of ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim antibiotics in four full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that differ in design and operating conditions was determined. The WWTPs chosen utilized a variety of secondary removal processes, such as a two stage activated sludge process with a nitrification tank, extended aeration, rotating biological contactors, and pure oxygen activated sludge. Several of the WWTPs also employed an advanced treatment process, such as chlorination and UV radiation disinfection. The detected concentrations (microg/l) ranged from 0.20 to 1.4 for ciprofloxacin, 0.21 to 2.8 for sulfamethoxazole, 0.061 to 1.1 for tetracycline, and 0.21 to 7.9 for trimethoprim. The overall percent difference in the concentrations of the antibiotics in the effluent and influent of these antibiotics differed between plants and ranged from 33% to 97%. Based on these four full-scale WWTPs evaluated, the apparent removal of organic micropollutants in wastewater is dependent on a combination of biological and physico-chemical treatment processes and operating conditions of the treatment system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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