Behavior of fluoroquinolones and trimethoprim during mechanical, chemical, and active sludge treatment of sewage water and digestion of sludge
2006 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 40, no 3, 1042-1048 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The behavior and fate of three fluoroquinolones (norfloxacin, ofloxacin, and ciprofloxacin), one sulfonamide (sulfamethoxazole), and trimethoprim were investigated at a sewage treatment plant in Umeå, Sweden, in 2004. This plant uses conventional mechanical, chemical, and activated sludge methods to treat the sewage water and digest the sludge; the dewatered digested sludge is pelleted (dry weight > 90% of total weight). Raw sewage water and particles as well as effluents and sludge from specific treatment areas within the plant were sampled. In addition to quantifying the antibiotics within the plant, we characterized the sample matrixes to facilitate evaluation of the results. Of the five substances examined, only norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim were present in concentrations higher than their limits of quantification. Norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin sorbed to sludge in a manner that was independent of changes in pH during sewage treatment, and more than 70% of the total amount of these compounds passing through the plant was ultimately found in the digested sludge. The results suggest that fluoroquinolones undergo thermal degradation during pelleting, but more studies are needed to confirm this. Trimethoprim was found in the final effluent at approximately the same concentration and mass flow as in the raw sewage, and could not be quantified in any solid sample. Predicted environmental concentrations, based on consumption data for Umeå municipality, correlated well with the results obtained, especially when the predicted concentrations were corrected to account for the amount of each active substance excreted in urine. The results obtained were compared to those of previous studies of these three substances' behavior and fate and were found to be similar, although some of the other plants studied employed the various treatment steps in different orders.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: American Chemical Society , 2006. Vol. 40, no 3, 1042-1048 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5050DOI: 10.1021/es0516211OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-5050DiVA: diva2:144403