The presence of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in water systems has been recognized as a potential source of risk for human health and the ecosystem. The present paper aims at evaluating the effects of different characteristics of full-scale Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) on the removal of 14 selected CECs belonging to the classes of caffeine, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals. Particularly, the investigated plants differed because of the treatment lay-out, the type of biological process, the value of the operating parameters, the fate of the treated effluent (i.e. release into surface water or reuse), and the treatment capacity. The activity consisted of measuring concentrations of the selected CECs and also traditional water quality parameters (i.e. COD, phosphorous, nitrogen species and TSS) in the influent and effluent of 8 plants. The study highlights that biodegradable CECs (cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, benzoylecgonine, 11-nor-9carboxy-Δ9-THC, lincomycin, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine, sulfadimethoxine, carbamazepine, ketoprofen, warfarin and caffeine) were well removed by all the WWTPs, with the best performance achieved by the MBR for antibiotics. Carbamazepine was removed at the lowest extent by all the WWTPs. The environmental risk assessed by using the site-specific value of the dilution factor resulted to be high in 3 out of 8 WWTPs for carbamazepine and less frequently for caffeine. However, the risk was reduced when the dilution factor was assumed equal to the default value of 10 as proposed by EU guidelines. Therefore, a specific determination of this factor is needed taking into account the hydraulic characteristics of the receiving water body

A step forward on site-specific environmental risk assessment and insight into the main influencing factors of CECs removal from wastewater

Camilla Di Marcantonio
;
Agostina Chiavola;Maria Rosaria Boni
2022

Abstract

The presence of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in water systems has been recognized as a potential source of risk for human health and the ecosystem. The present paper aims at evaluating the effects of different characteristics of full-scale Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) on the removal of 14 selected CECs belonging to the classes of caffeine, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals. Particularly, the investigated plants differed because of the treatment lay-out, the type of biological process, the value of the operating parameters, the fate of the treated effluent (i.e. release into surface water or reuse), and the treatment capacity. The activity consisted of measuring concentrations of the selected CECs and also traditional water quality parameters (i.e. COD, phosphorous, nitrogen species and TSS) in the influent and effluent of 8 plants. The study highlights that biodegradable CECs (cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, benzoylecgonine, 11-nor-9carboxy-Δ9-THC, lincomycin, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine, sulfadimethoxine, carbamazepine, ketoprofen, warfarin and caffeine) were well removed by all the WWTPs, with the best performance achieved by the MBR for antibiotics. Carbamazepine was removed at the lowest extent by all the WWTPs. The environmental risk assessed by using the site-specific value of the dilution factor resulted to be high in 3 out of 8 WWTPs for carbamazepine and less frequently for caffeine. However, the risk was reduced when the dilution factor was assumed equal to the default value of 10 as proposed by EU guidelines. Therefore, a specific determination of this factor is needed taking into account the hydraulic characteristics of the receiving water body
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1659920
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