Howard Weinberg

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Environmental Sci and Eng
UNC Chapel Hill

Occurrence of Selected Pharmaceutically-Active Compounds and Personal Care Products in Treated Wastewater and Drinking Water

Completed in 2009.
Postdoc Researcher: Xin Yang, PhD

The objectives of this study were to determine: the occurrence levels of selected pharmaceutically-active compounds (PhACs) and personal care products (PCPs) in the wastewater of a major southeastern utility in the US; the extent of PhAC and PCP removal by the various wastewater treatment processes employed at the utility's wastewater reclamation plants; the occurrence levels of selected PhACs and PCPs in the utility's raw and finished drinking water.

Twenty-four hour composite samples were collected monthly for 12 months at a number of locations across the wastewater reclamation plants: The plants employed, in addition to conventional biological treatment, coagulation and granular media filtration, GAC, ozonation, and membrane filtration.

Analytical techniques included gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Target PhACs includes diclofenac, gemfibrozil, metopropolol, propranonol, naproxen, primidone, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, carbamezapine, dilantin, erythromycin, and meprobramate. PCPs of interest included DEET, triclosan, and caffeine.

Concurrent with the PhAC and PCP measurements, complementary data was obtained from treatment plant staff detailing process operations for the day during which the composite samples were collected, such as BOD, COD, TOC, TKN, ammonia-N, nitrate-N, TSS, mean cell residence time, pH, temperature, applied ozone doses, granular media filter loading rate, membrane flux and pressure, GAC empty bed contact time, etc., for the wastewater reclamation plants, and chemical doses, pH, temperature, etc. for the water treatment plants. This latter information was used to interpret variations in PPCP occurrence and removal patterns from month to month.

Results - Paper in Water Research