COVID19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions to constrain SARS-CoV-2 spreading produced several impacts on the worldwide population. The present study focused on 10 Organic Micropollutants (illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals including some antibiotics and caffeine) and aimed to assess: (1) if COVID19 pandemic restrictions affected the load of those contaminants released into the sewage network and consequently the removal achieved by the Wastewater Treatment Plants; (2) if pursuant to the COVID19 pandemic, there was a change in population consumption rates of the same compounds through the wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) approach. Two full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located in Central Italy were chosen as case studies, which are distinguished by different characteristics of the catchment area and water treatment layouts. The study was based on a 2-years monitoring activity of the concentration of the above organic micropollutants, traditional water quality parameters (COD, TSS, nitrogen compounds, total phosphorous) and flow rate in the influent and effluent. The statistical analysis of the monitoring data showed an increase of the influent load of most of the organic micropollutants. A decrease from 22% to −18% of the median removal efficiency was observed for carbamazepine in the WWTP with the lower treatment capacity only. The other compounds were removed roughly at the same rate. The application of the WBE approach demonstrated an increase in the consumption rate of cocaine, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine, carbamazepine and above all caffeine during the COVID19 restrictions period. These results highlight that COVID19 pandemic affected people's lifestyle and habits also as far as drugs consumption is concerned, which in turn might have an impact on the treatment efficacy of plants and finally on the receiving water body quality. Therefore, it is mandatory to keep monitoring to improve knowledge and eventually to implement the required measures to address this new problem.

Impact of COVID19 restrictions on organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants and human consumption rates / Di Marcantonio, C.; Chiavola, A.; Gioia, V.; Frugis, A.; Cecchini, G.; Ceci, C.; Spizzirri, M.; Boni, M. R.. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 811:(2022). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152327]

Impact of COVID19 restrictions on organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants and human consumption rates

Di Marcantonio C.
;
Chiavola A.;Boni M. R.
2022

Abstract

COVID19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions to constrain SARS-CoV-2 spreading produced several impacts on the worldwide population. The present study focused on 10 Organic Micropollutants (illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals including some antibiotics and caffeine) and aimed to assess: (1) if COVID19 pandemic restrictions affected the load of those contaminants released into the sewage network and consequently the removal achieved by the Wastewater Treatment Plants; (2) if pursuant to the COVID19 pandemic, there was a change in population consumption rates of the same compounds through the wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) approach. Two full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located in Central Italy were chosen as case studies, which are distinguished by different characteristics of the catchment area and water treatment layouts. The study was based on a 2-years monitoring activity of the concentration of the above organic micropollutants, traditional water quality parameters (COD, TSS, nitrogen compounds, total phosphorous) and flow rate in the influent and effluent. The statistical analysis of the monitoring data showed an increase of the influent load of most of the organic micropollutants. A decrease from 22% to −18% of the median removal efficiency was observed for carbamazepine in the WWTP with the lower treatment capacity only. The other compounds were removed roughly at the same rate. The application of the WBE approach demonstrated an increase in the consumption rate of cocaine, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine, carbamazepine and above all caffeine during the COVID19 restrictions period. These results highlight that COVID19 pandemic affected people's lifestyle and habits also as far as drugs consumption is concerned, which in turn might have an impact on the treatment efficacy of plants and finally on the receiving water body quality. Therefore, it is mandatory to keep monitoring to improve knowledge and eventually to implement the required measures to address this new problem.
2022
antibiotics; caffeine; contaminants of emerging concern; illicit drugs; pharmaceuticals; wastewater-based epidemiology; humans; SARS-CoV-2; waste disposal fluid; waste water; COVID-19; water pollutants chemical; water purification
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Impact of COVID19 restrictions on organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants and human consumption rates / Di Marcantonio, C.; Chiavola, A.; Gioia, V.; Frugis, A.; Cecchini, G.; Ceci, C.; Spizzirri, M.; Boni, M. R.. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 811:(2022). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152327]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1604584
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