Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Micropollutants
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In situ removal of four organic micropollutants in a small river determined by monitoring and modelling
Brunsch, Andrea F. ; Langenhoff, Alette A.M. ; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M. ; Ahring, Alexander ; Laak, Thomas L. ter - \ 2019
Environmental Pollution 252 (2019). - ISSN 0269-7491 - p. 758 - 766.
Micropollutants - Modelling - Monitoring - Photodegradation - Surface water

Organic micropollutants (OMPs) are widely detected in surface waters. So far, the removal processes of these compounds in situ in river systems are not yet totally revealed. In this study, a combined monitoring and modelling approach was applied to determine the behaviour of 1-H benzotriazole, carbamazepine, diclofenac and galaxolide in a small river system. Sewage treatment plant effluents and the receiving waters of the river Swist were monitored in 9 dry weather sampling campaigns (precipitation < 1 mm on the sampling day itself and <5 mm total precipitation two days before the sampling) during different seasons over a period of 3 years. With the results gained through monitoring, mass balances have been calculated to assess fate in the river. With the DWA Water Quality Model, OMP concentrations in the river were successfully simulated with OMP characteristics gained through literature studies. No removal was determined for 1-H benzotriazole and carbamazepine, whereas diclofenac showed removal that coincided with light intensity. Moreover, modelling based on light sensitivity of diclofenac also suggested relevant degradation at natural light conditions. These two approaches suggest removal by photodegradation. The highest removal in the river was detected for galaxolide, presumably due to volatilisation, sorption and biodegradation. Furthermore, short-term concentration variability in the river was determined, showing that daily concentration patterns are influenced by dynamics of sewage treatment plant effluent volumes and removal processes in the river.

Effect-based nationwide surface water quality assessment to identify ecotoxicological risks
Baat, M.L. de; Kraak, M.H.S. ; Oost, R. van der; Voogt, P. de; Verdonschot, P.F.M. - \ 2019
Water Research 159 (2019). - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 434 - 443.
Bioassay battery - Micropollutants - Passive sampling - Water framework directive - Water monitoring

A large portion of the toxic effects observed in surface waters cannot be attributed to compounds regularly measured by water authorities. Hence, there is an urgent need for an effect-based monitoring strategy that employs bioassays to identify environmental risks. The aim of the present study was to perform an effect-based nationwide water quality assessment to identify ecotoxicological risks in a wide variety of surface waters. At 45 locations silicone rubbers and polar organic chemical integrative samplers were exposed to surface water for 6 weeks. Alongside the passive samplers an in-situ daphnid test was performed. Subsequent to field exposure, accumulated compounds were extracted from the passive samplers after which a battery of in vivo and in vitro bioassays was exposed to the extracts. The bioassay battery was selected such that it could identify the risks posed by a wide range of chemical pollutants and their transformation products, while simultaneously allowing for targeted identification of groups of compounds that cause specific effects. Bioassay responses were compared to effect-based trigger values to identify potential ecotoxicological risks at the investigated locations. Responses were observed in all bioassays, and trigger values were exceeded in 9 out of the 21 applied assays, allowing for ranking of the investigated locations based on ecotoxicological risks. No relationship between land use and the identification of ecotoxicological risks was observed. Based on the results, considerations regarding future improvements of effect-based monitoring are given. It is concluded that effect-based water quality assessment allowed prioritization of sites based on ecotoxicological risks, identified the presence of hazardous compounds regardless of being listed as priority substances, and meanwhile could prevent costly chemical analysis at sites with low ecotoxicological risks.

Agriculture versus wastewater pollution as drivers of macroinvertebrate community structure in streams
Burdon, F.J. ; Munz, N.A. ; Reyes, M. ; Focks, A. ; Joss, A. ; Räsänen, K. ; Altermatt, F. ; Eggen, R.I.L. ; Stamm, C. - \ 2019
Science of the Total Environment 659 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1256 - 1265.
Aquatic ecosystems - Chemical pollution - Land use - Micropollutants - Multiple stressors - Pesticides

Water pollution is ubiquitous globally, yet how the effects of pollutants propagate through natural ecosystems remains poorly understood. This is because the interactive effects of multiple stressors are generally hard to predict. Agriculture and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are often major sources of contaminants for streams, but their relative importance and the role of different pollutants (e.g. nutrients or pesticides) are largely unknown. Using a ‘real world experiment’ with sampling locations up- and downstream of WWTPs, we studied how effluent discharges affected water quality and macroinvertebrate communities in 23 Swiss streams across a broad land-use gradient. Variation partitioning of community composition revealed that overall water quality explained approximately 30% of community variability, whereby nutrients and pesticides each independently explained 10% and 2%, respectively. Excluding oligochaetes (which were highly abundant downstream of the WWTPs) from the analyses, resulted in a relatively stronger influence (3%) of pesticides on the macroinvertebrate community composition, whereas nutrients had no influence. Generally, the macroinvertebrate community composition downstream of the WWTPs strongly reflected the upstream conditions, likely due to a combination of efficient treatment processes, environmental filtering and organismal dispersal. Wastewater impacts were most prominently by the Saprobic index, whereas the SPEAR index (a trait-based macroinvertebrate metrics reflecting sensitivity to pesticides) revealed a strong impact of arable cropping but only a weak impact of wastewater. Overall, our results indicate that agriculture can have a stronger impact on headwater stream macroinvertebrate communities than discharges from WWTP. Yet, effects of wastewater-born micropollutants were clearly quantifiable among all other influence factors. Improving our ability to further quantify the impacts of micropollutants requires highly-resolved water quality and taxonomic data with adequate spatial and temporal sampling. These improvements would help to better account for the underlying causal pathways that drive observed biological responses, such as episodic contaminant peaks and dispersal-related processes.

Retention soil filter as post-treatment step to remove micropollutants from sewage treatment plant effluent
Brunsch, Andrea F. ; Laak, Thomas L. ter; Christoffels, Ekkehard ; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M. ; Langenhoff, Alette A.M. - \ 2018
Science of the Total Environment 637-638 (2018). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1098 - 1107.
Constructed wetlands - Granular activated carbon - Micropollutants - Post-treatment step - Retention soil filter - Wastewater treatment

Retention soil filters (RSFs) are a specific form of vertical flow constructed wetlands for the treatment of rain water and/or wastewater. We have tested 3 pilot RSFs to investigate removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and 14 different organic micropollutants (OMPs) from the effluent of a large scale sewage treatment plant (STP). Two of them were operated as conventional RSF with material (sand with CaCO3 and organic matter) from two different full-scale RSFs. The third pilot RSF contained filter material (sand with CaCO3) with additional biochar in the upper layer (0–10 cm) and granulated activated carbon (GAC) in the lower layer (60–90 cm). The filters were planted with Phragmites australis. The RSFs were operated and monitored for 3 years, and water samples were taken regularly at inflow, outflows and in 3 depths within the filters. In total 523 samples were taken. In the conventional RSF, best median removal was detected for galaxolide, diclofenac 4-hydroxy, metoprolol and clarithromycin (75–79%). No removal was seen for sulfamethoxazole and carbamazepine. The DOC and OMP removal in the conventional RSFs was best in the upper layer with highest organic matter content, increased in time over the three years of operation and also with extended contact time. In the effluent of the RSF with GAC, 10 out of the 14 OMPs could not be detected; 4 OMPs were detected, but only metformin with removal < 80%, thus showing a more efficient removal than the conventional RSF. A decrease in DOC removal was detected in the GAC layer (>88% to 60%) over the 2.5 years of operation. Biochar was most effective in OMP removal in the first operational year. It can be concluded that the increasing removal efficiency of the conventional RSF material – also present in the RSF with biochar and GAC – might mitigate the reduced efficiency of the sorbent additives biochar and GAC. This enables to extend the operational lifetime of the filters with acceptable removal rates. Finally, our study demonstrates that an RSF with GAC shows an enhanced removal of OMPs, which is a suitable post-treatment step for STPs.

Evaluation of attenuation of pharmaceuticals, toxic potency, and antibiotic resistance genes in constructed wetlands treating wastewater effluents
He, Yujie ; Nurul, Sabri ; Schmitt, Heike ; Sutton, Nora B. ; Murk, Tinka A.J. ; Blokland, Marco H. ; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M. ; Langenhoff, Alette A.M. - \ 2018
Science of the Total Environment 631-632 (2018). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1572 - 1581.
ARGs - Bioanalyses - Domestic wastewater - Micropollutants - Multivariate analysis - Tertiary treatment
The performance of constructed wetlands (CWs) in the removal of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) is generally evaluated on the basis of chemical analysis. In this work, we used a combination of chemical, toxicological, and molecular analyses to assess the attenuation of PhACs, toxic potency and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in a field study of three CWs serving as tertiary treatment of wastewater treatment plants. First, 17 PhACs were analysed chemically, of which 14 were detected and seven at concentrations >0.1 μg/l. Even though some of the individual PhACs were moderately or highly removed in the CWs investigated, median removal of overall PhACs was approximately 50% in the vertical subsurface flow CW (VSF-CW) with a lower hydraulic loading rate while the removal in the other two free water surface flow CWs (SF-CWs) was negligible. Second, toxic potency of wastewater extracts was assessed in a range of bioassays. Estrogenicity was overall attenuated in CWs, while the neurotoxic potency of wastewater extracts did not decrease after passage through the two CWs investigated. Third, the VSF-CW and one of the SF-CW showed a positive removal of an integrase gene and three ARGs tested. The increased concentrations of ARGs in the other SF-CW, as well as the increase of total bacteria in all CWs, may relate to regrowth of resistance-carrying bacteria. Finally, multivariate analysis shows that most PhACs are positively correlated to the observed toxic potency. Additionally, low removal of organics and nutrients seems to parallel with low removal of PhACs. ARGs positively correlated with organics, nutrients and some PhACs, and the integrase gene but not to the respective antibiotics. The insufficient removal of PhACs, toxic potency, and ARGs indicates the need of an optimal design of CWs as tertiary treatment facilities.
Micropollutant removal from black water and grey water sludge in a UASB-GAC reactor
Butkovskyi, A. ; Sevenou, L. ; Meulepas, R.J.W. ; Hernandez Leal, L. ; Zeeman, G. ; Rijnaarts, H.H.M. - \ 2018
Water Science and Technology 77 (2018)4. - ISSN 0273-1223 - p. 1137 - 1148.
Activated carbon - Black water - Grey water sludge - Micropollutants - UASB reactor
The effect of granular activated carbon (GAC) addition on the removal of diclofenac, ibuprofen, metoprolol, galaxolide and triclosan in a up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor was studied. Prior to the reactor studies, batch experiments indicated that addition of activated carbon to UASB sludge can decrease micropollutant concentrations in both liquid phase and sludge. In continuous experiments, two UASB reactors were operated for 260 days at an HRT of 20 days, using a mixture of source separated black water and sludge from aerobic grey water treatment as influent. GAC (5.7 g per liter of reactor volume) was added to one of the reactors on day 138. No significant difference in COD removal and biogas production between reactors with and without GAC addition was observed. In the presence of GAC, fewer micropollutants were washed out with the effluent and a lower accumulation of micropollutants in sludge and particulate organic matter occurred, which is an advantage in micropollutant emission reduction from wastewater. However, the removal of micropollutants by adding GAC to a UASB reactor would require more activated carbon compared to effluent post-treatment. Additional research is needed to estimate the effect of bioregeneration on the lifetime of activated carbon in a UASB-GAC reactor.
Micropollutants in source separated wastewater streams and recovered resources of source separated sanitation
Butkovskyi, A. ; Hernandez Leal, L. ; Zeeman, G. ; Rijnaarts, H.H.M. - \ 2017
Environmental Research 156 (2017). - ISSN 0013-9351 - p. 434 - 442.
Black water - Grey water - Micropollutants - Sludge - Struvite

The quality of anaerobic sludge and struvite from black water treatment system, aerobic sludge from grey water treatment system and effluents of both systems was assessed for organic micropollutant content in order to ensure safety when reusing these products. Use of anaerobic black water sludge and struvite as soil amendments is recommended based on the low micropollutant content. Aerobic grey water sludge is recommended for disposal, because of the relatively high micropollutant concentrations, exceeding those in sewage sludge. Effluents of black and grey water treatment systems require post-treatment prior to reuse, because the measured micropollutant concentrations in the effluents are above ecotoxicological thresholds.

Fate of personal care and household products in source separated sanitation
Butkovskyi, A. ; Rijnaarts, H.H.M. ; Zeeman, G. ; Hernandez Leal, L. - \ 2016
Journal of Hazardous Materials 320 (2016). - ISSN 0304-3894 - p. 427 - 434.
Black water - Grey water - Micropollutants - Sorption - Triclosan - UASB sludge

Removal of twelve micropollutants, namely biocides, fragrances, ultraviolet (UV)-filters and preservatives in source separated grey and black water treatment systems was studied. All compounds were present in influent grey water in μg/l range. Seven compounds were found in influent black water. Their removal in an aerobic activated sludge system treating grey water ranged from 59% for avobenzone to >99% for hexylcinnamaldehyde. High concentrations of hydrophobic micropollutants in sludge of aerobic activated sludge system indicated the importance of sorption for their removal. Six micropollutants were found in sludge of an Up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating black water, with four of them being present at significantly higher concentrations after addition of grey water sludge to the reactor. Hence, addition of grey water sludge to the UASB reactor is likely to increase micropollutant content in UASB sludge. This approach should not be followed when excess UASB sludge is designed to be reused as soil amendment.

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