Ecotoxicity and antibiotic resistance of a mixture of hospital and urban sewage in a wastewater treatment plant

Abstract

Hospital and urban effluents are a source of diverse pollutants such as organic compounds, heavy metals, detergents, disinfectants, pharmaceuticals, and microorganisms resistant to antibiotics. Usually, these two types of effluent are mixed in the sewage network, but a pilot site in France now allows studying them separately or mixed to understand more about their characteristics and the phenomena that occur following their mixing. In this study, their ecotoxicity (Daphnia magna mobility, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata growth, Brachionus calyciflorus reproduction, and SOS Chromotest) and antibiotic resistance (integron quantification) were assessed during mixing and treatment steps. The main results of this study are (i) the ecotoxicity and antibiotic resistance potentials of hospital wastewater are higher than in urban wastewater and (ii) mixing two different effluents does not lead to global synergistic or antagonistic effects on ecotoxicity and antibiotic resistance potential. The global additivity effect observed in this case must be confirmed by other studies on hospital and urban effluents on other sites to improve knowledge relating to this source of pollution and its management.

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Acknowledgements

This research work was carried out on the SIPIBEL experimental site, a field observatory on hospital and urban wastewater treatment plant effluents coordinated by the Bellecombe “Syndicat” (the organization managing the sewage treatment plant) and the Graie, the Rhone-Alps Infrastructures and Water Research Group. SIPIBEL 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 the local partners, without whose help this work would not have been accomplished.

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Correspondence to Marine Laquaz.

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Laquaz, M., Dagot, C., Bazin, C. et al. Ecotoxicity and antibiotic resistance of a mixture of hospital and urban sewage in a wastewater treatment plant. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 9243–9253 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9957-6

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Keywords

  • Ecotoxicity
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Hospital wastewater
  • Urban wastewater
  • Combined effects