Healthcare facility discharges, by their nature, are often considered as non-domestic effluent, which can provide significant pollution comparatively to other domestic sources. In this context, a total of 12 monthly sampling campaigns were collected from a healthcare facility as well as the output of a sewerage system of Site Pilote de Bellecombe (SIPIBEL) observatory. This study focuses more specifically on 12 surfactants and biocides: four anionics, four cationic, two non-ionic, one zwitterionic, and one dispersive agent, among the most commonly used commercial surfactants. Particular attention was also provided to routine wastewater quality parameters. Both effluents were heavily contaminated by most anionic surfactants; they displayed median concentrations up to 1 to 2 mg/L for linear alkylbenzene sulfonates and between 10 and 100 μg/L for other sodium sulfate congeners (lauryl and laureth). Overall, for the majority of surfactants, the healthcare facility contribution to the total flux reaching the wastewater treatment plant ranges between 5 and 9%.
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This research work has been carried out on the SIPIBEL experimental site, a field observatory on hospital’s effluents and urban wastewater treatment plant coordinated by The Bellecombe “Syndicat” (managing the sewage treatment plant) and the Graie, The Rhone-Alps Group of Research on the Infrastructures and Water. SIPIBEL have received financial assistance from the Rhone-Mediterranean Water Agency, the Rhone-Alps Region, the European Union, the French Ministries of Ecology and Health, the Haute-Savoie General Council, and the Rhone-Alps regional public health authority. The authors thank all the partners in the study, in particular local partners, without whose help this work would not have been accomplished.
Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues
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Bergé, A., Wiest, L., Baudot, R. et al. Occurrence of multi-class surfactants in urban wastewater: contribution of a healthcare facility to the pollution transported into the sewerage system. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 9219–9229 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0470-8
- Sewerage system