, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 4276-4285
Date: 05 Dec 2013

Occurrence and removal of six pharmaceuticals and personal care products in a wastewater treatment plant employing anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic and UV processes in Shanghai, China

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The occurrence and removal of six pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) including caffeine (CF), N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), carbamazepine, metoprolol, trimethoprim (TMP), and sulpiride in a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Shanghai, China were studied in January 2013; besides, grab samples of the influent were also taken every 6 h, to investigate the daily fluctuation of the wastewater influent. The results showed the concentrations of the investigated PPCPs ranged from 17 to 11,400 ng/L in the WWTP. A low variability of the PPCP concentrations in the wastewater influent throughout the day was observed, with the relative standard deviations less than 25 % for most samples. However, for TMP and CF, the slight daily fluctuation still reflected their consumption patterns. All the target compounds except CF and DEET, exhibited poor removal efficiencies (<40 %) by biological treatment process, probably due to the low temperature in the bioreactor, which was unfavorable for activated sludge. While for the two biodegradable PPCPs, CF, and DEET, the anaerobic and oxic tank made contributions to their removal while the anoxic tank had a negative effect to their elimination. The tertiary UV treatment removed the investigated PPCPs by 5–38 %, representing a crucial polishing step to compensate for the poor removal by the biologic treatment process in winter.

Responsible editor: Ester Heath