Assessing the diurnal variability of pharmaceutical and personal care products in a full-scale activated sludge plant

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An intensive sampling campaign has been carried out in a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to assess the dynamics of the influent pharmaceutical active compounds (PhAC) and musks. The mass loadings of these compounds in wastewater influents displayed contrasting diurnal variations depending on the compound. The musks and some groups of PhACs tended to follow a similar diurnal trend as compared to macropollutants, while the majority of PhACs followed either the opposite trend or no repeatable trend. The total musk loading to the WWTP was 0.74 +/- 0.25 g d(-1), whereas the total PhAC mass loading was 84.7 +/- 63.8 g d(-1). Unlike the PhACs, the musks displayed a high repeatability from one sampling day to the next. The range of PhAC loadings in the influent to WWTPs can vary several orders of magnitude from one day or week to the next, representing a challenge in obtaining data for steady-state modelling purposes.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)2359-2367
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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