Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 21, pp 17209–17223 | Cite as

Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in municipal wastewater, in the recipient water, and sedimented particles of northern Lake Päijänne

  • Petra C. Lindholm-LehtoEmail author
  • Heidi S. J. Ahkola
  • Juha S. Knuutinen
  • Sirpa H. Herve
Research Article


The presence of five different pharmaceuticals, consisting of four anti-inflammatory and one antiepileptic drug, was determined in influent and effluent of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) near the city of Jyväskylä, Finland, and in the receiving water, northern Lake Päijänne. In addition, samples of sedimented particles were collected among water samples from five locations near the discharge point of the treated wastewater. The solid phase extracts (SPEs) of water samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in the multiple reaction monitoring mode. The studied pharmaceuticals were detected from influent, effluent, and lake water but also in the sedimented particles. The concentrations of carbamazepine, diclofenac, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen in Lake Päijänne ranged from 1 to 21 ng L−1, 4 to 209 ng L−1, 5 to 836 ng L−1, 9 to 952 ng L−1, and 2 to 129 ng L−1, respectively. The concentrations of ketoprofen in sedimented particles ranged from 79 to 135 μg g−1 while only trace amounts of other selected pharmaceuticals were detected. The results indicate that the concentrations of pharmaceuticals are affected by the biological and chemical reactions occurring in the wastewater treatment processes but also by the UV light in the photic layer of Lake Päijänne. It can be concluded that considerable amount of selected pharmaceuticals are present in the influent and effluent of municipal WWTP but also in the water phase and sedimented particles of northern Lake Päijänne.


Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry Pharmaceuticals Sedimented particles Solid phase extraction Municipal wastewater treatment plant 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra C. Lindholm-Lehto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Heidi S. J. Ahkola
    • 2
  • Juha S. Knuutinen
    • 1
  • Sirpa H. Herve
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Laboratory Centre, Ecotoxicology and Risk AssessmentFinnish Environment Institute (SYKE)JyväskyläFinland

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