Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 525–539 | Cite as

Evaluation of different wastewater treatment techniques in three WWTPs in Istanbul for the removal of selected EDCs in liquid phase

  • Zehra Semra Can
  • Melike Fırlak
  • Aslıhan Kerç
  • Serkan Evcimen


Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are exogenous substances that cause adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, subsequent to the changes in endocrine function. Recent studies have shown that wastewater treatment plant effluents play an important role in the release of EDCs into aquatic environments. Therefore, in this study, influent and effluent samples from three different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Istanbul were analysed for the presence of the principal EDCs. These chemicals include steroids and synthetic organic chemicals. Thus, the occurrence and fate of EDCs of great health concern were monitored at three WWTPs in Istanbul. Furthermore, these WWTPs are employing different treatment processes. Therefore, the EDC removal performances of different treatment regimes were also evaluated. Phytosterol was the most abundant EDC in the influent samples. Second group of compounds at high influent levels were alkyl phenols. Pesticide levels of all three WWTP influent samples were low. Pasakoy Advanced WWTP is more effective at eliminating EDCs. Kadikoy Primary WWTP exhibits the lowest EDC elimination efficiencies. To the best of our knowledge, this work comprises the first detailed report on the occurrence and behaviour of both natural and synthetic EDCs in WWTPs of Istanbul and Turkey. The steroid estrogen levels of this study are higher than the previously documented values, except the levels given for Gaobeidian WWTP in Beijing, China. This is attributed to higher population densities of Beijing and Istanbul and as well as to lower individual water consumption rates in the two cities.


Endocrine-disrupting compounds Estrogenic steroid hormones Wastewater treatment plant Alkyl phenols BPA Phytosterol 



This work was supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK (grand no. 108Y140). Support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) and WWTPs for providing the samples used in EDC analysis and also 2010 year data regarding the WWTPs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zehra Semra Can
    • 1
  • Melike Fırlak
    • 2
  • Aslıhan Kerç
    • 1
  • Serkan Evcimen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Environmental Engineering DepartmentMarmara UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.School of PharmacyIstanbul Kemerburgaz UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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