Occurrence of multi-class surfactants in urban wastewater: contribution of a healthcare facility to the pollution transported into the sewerage system

Abstract

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%.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. Ahyerre M, Chebbo G, Saad M (2001a) Nature and dynamics of water sediment interface in combined sewers. J Environ Eng 127:233–239. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2001)127:3(233)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ahyerre M, Oms C, Chebbo G (2001b) The erosion of organic solids in combined sewers. Water Sci Technol 43:95–102

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Bergé A, Cladière M, Gasperi J et al (2012) Meta-analysis of environmental contamination by alkylphenols. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:3798–3819. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-012-1094-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bergé A, Gasperi J, Rocher V et al (2014) Phthalates and alkylphenols in industrial and domestic effluents: case of Paris conurbation (France). Sci Total Environ 488–489:26–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.04.081

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bergé A, Giroud B, Wiest L et al (2016) Development of a multiple-class analytical method based on the use of synthetic matrices for the simultaneous determination of commonly used commercial surfactants in wastewater by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 1450:64–75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Camacho-Muñoz D, Martín J, Santos JL et al (2014) Occurrence of surfactants in wastewater: hourly and seasonal variations in urban and industrial wastewaters from Seville (southern Spain). Sci Total Environ 468–469:977–984. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.09.020

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chonova T, Lecomte V, Bertrand-Krajewski J-L et al (2017) The SIPIBEL project: treatment of hospital and urban wastewater in a conventional urban wastewater treatment plant. Environ Sci Pollut Res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9302-0

  8. Corada-Fernández C, Jiménez-Martínez J, Candela L, et al (2015) Occurrence and spatial distribution of emerging contaminants in the unsaturated zone. Case study: Guadalete River basin (Cadiz, Spain). Chemosphere 119, Supplement:S131–S137. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.04.098

  9. Corvini PFX, Schäffer A, Schlosser D (2006) Microbial degradation of nonylphenol and other alkylphenols—our evolving view. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 72:223–243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-006-0476-5

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Gomez V, Ferreres L, Pocurull E, Borrull F (2011) Determination of non-ionic and anionic surfactants in environmental water matrices. Talanta 84:859–866. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2011.02.009

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. González S, Petrovic M, Barceló D (2004) Simultaneous extraction and fate of linear alkylbenzene sulfonates, coconut diethanol amides, nonylphenol ethoxylates and their degradation products in wastewater treatment plants, receiving coastal waters and sediments in the Catalonian area (NE Spain). J Chromatogr A 1052:111–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2004.08.047

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. González S, Petrovic M, Barceló D (2007) Removal of a broad range of surfactants from municipal wastewater—comparison between membrane bioreactor and conventional activated sludge treatment. Chemosphere 67:335–343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.09.056

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Jurado A, Vàzquez-Suñé E, Carrera J et al (2012) Emerging organic contaminants in groundwater in Spain: a review of sources, recent occurrence and fate in a European context. Sci Total Environ 440:82–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.029

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Karahan Ö (2010) Inhibition effect of linear alkylbenzene sulphonates on the biodegradation mechanisms of activated sludge. Bioresour Technol 101:92–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2009.07.088

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Lara-Martín PA, González-Mazo E, Brownawell BJ (2011) Multi-residue method for the analysis of synthetic surfactants and their degradation metabolites in aquatic systems by liquid chromatography–time-of-flight-mass spectrometry. Sel Pap 28th Int Symp Chromatogr Int Symp Chromatogr 1218:4799–4807. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2011.02.031

  16. Loyo-Rosales JE, Rice CP, Torrents A (2007) Fate of octyl- and nonylphenol ethoxylates and some carboxylated derivatives in three American wastewater treatment plants. Environ Sci Technol 41:6815–6821. https://doi.org/10.1021/es070713i

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Merino F, Rubio S, Pérez-Bendito D (2003) Mixed aggregate-based acid-induced cloud-point extraction and ion-trap liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry for the determination of cationic surfactants in sewage sludge. J Chromatogr A 998:143–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0021-9673(03)00565-X

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Morrall SW, Dunphy JC, Cano ML et al (2006) Removal and environmental exposure of alcohol ethoxylates in US sewage treatment. Ecotox and Environ Safety 64:3–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2005.07.014

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Mungray AK, Kumar P (2009) Fate of linear alkylbenzene sulfonates in the environment: a review. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 63:981–987. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2009.03.012

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Oliver-Rodríguez B, Zafra-Gómez A, Camino-Sánchez FJ et al (2013) Multi-residue method for the analysis of commonly used commercial surfactants, homologues and ethoxymers, in marine sediments by liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry. Microchem J 110:158–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2013.03.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Olkowska E, Polkowska Ż, Namieśnik J (2013) A solid phase extraction–ion chromatography with conductivity detection procedure for determining cationic surfactants in surface water samples. Talanta 116:210–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2013.04.083

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Olkowska E, Polkowska Z, Ruman M, Namiesnik J (2015) Similar concentration of surfactants in rural and urban areas. Environ Chem Lett 13:97–104. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-014-0485-z

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Prats D, López C, Vallejo D et al (2006) Effect of temperature on the biodegradation of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate and alcohol ethoxylate. J Surfactant Deterg 9:69–75. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11743-006-0377-8

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Scott MJ, Jones MN (2000) The biodegradation of surfactants in the environment. Biochim Biophys Acta BBA - Biomembr 1508:235–251. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4157(00)00013-7

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Sütterlin H, Alexy R, Coker A, Kümmerer K (2008) Mixtures of quaternary ammonium compounds and anionic organic compounds in the aquatic environment: elimination and biodegradability in the closed bottle test monitored by LC-MS/MS. Chemosphere 72:479–484. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.03.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Tadros TF (2005) Surfactants in nano-emulsions. In: Applied surfactants. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, pp 285–308

  27. Terzic S, Matosic M, Ahel M, Mijatovic I (2005) Elimination of aromatic surfactants from municipal wastewaters: comparison of conventional activated sludge treatment and membrane biological reactor. Water Sci Technol 51:447–453

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Thiele B, Gunther K, Schwuger MJ (1999) Trace analysis of surfactants in environmental matrices. Tenside Surfactants Detergents 36:8–18

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Traverso-Soto JM, Lara-Martín PA, González-Mazo E, León VM (2015) Distribution of anionic and nonionic surfactants in a sewage-impacted Mediterranean coastal lagoon: inputs and seasonal variations. Sci Total Environ 503–504:87–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Ying G-G (2006) Fate, behavior and effects of surfactants and their degradation products in the environment. Environ Int 32:417–431. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2005.07.004

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emmanuelle Vulliet.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Keywords

  • Surfactants
  • Sewerage system
  • SIPIBEL