Assessing the partitioning of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in secondary wastewater treatment and fate to the receiving environments

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Barnard, Kevin James
Environmental Loading
Receiving Environments
Secondary Wastewater Treatment
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are increasingly being detected in the environment and little is known of the effects to the environment. Thirty pharmaceuticals and personal care products were measured in liquid and solid streams in a conventional secondary wastewater treatment plant and compared to predicted partition loadings and toxicity levels. The predicted partitioned loadings derived from the model were significantly different from partitioned loadings within the treatment plant. Concentrations discharged from the treatment plant were below predicted and known toxicity levels for aquatic and terrestrial receiving environments. Together, these findings suggest the estimation model is ineffective for predicting partitioning loadings in secondary treatment, concentrations are not likely to be toxic in the marine environment around the outfall, and secondary wastewater treatment does have a positive impact on the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products during secondary wastewater treatment.
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