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Research article2017Peer reviewed

Screening and prioritization of micropollutants in wastewaters from on-site sewage treatment facilities

Gros, Meritxell; Blum, Kristin M.; Jernstedt, Henrik; Renman, Gunno; Rodriguez-Mozaz, Sara; Haglund, Peter; Andersson, Patrik L.; Wiberg, Karin; Ahrens, Lutz


A comprehensive screening of micropollutants was performed in wastewaters from on-site sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs) and urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTPS) in Sweden. A suspect screening approach, using high resolution mass spectrometry, was developed and used in combination with target analysis. With this strategy, a total number of 79 micropollutants were successfully identified, which belong to the groups of per-and polyfluoroallcyl substances (PFASs), pesticides, phosphorus-containing flame retardants (PFRs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Results from this screening indicate that concentrations of micropollutants are similar in influents and effhients of OSSFs and WWTPs, respectively. Removal efficiencies of micropollutants were assessed in the OSSFs and compared with those observed in WWTPs. In general, removal of PFASs and PFRs was higher in package treatment OSSFs, which are based on biological treatments, while removal of PPCPs was more efficient in soil bed OSSFs. A novel comprehensive prioritization strategy was then developed to identify OSSF specific chemicals of environmental relevance. The strategy was based On the compound concentrations in the wastewater, removal efficiency, frequency of detection in OSSFs and on in silico based data for toxicity, persistency and bioaccumulation potential. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


On-site sewage treatment facilities; Urban wastewater treatment; Micropollutants; Suspect screening; Prioritization

Published in

Journal of Hazardous Materials
2017, Volume: 328, pages: 37-45