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(P417) Bench Scale System for Evaluating the Fate of Pharmaceuticals in Municipal Drinking Water Treatment Facilities.
Bundy, Michael*,1, Doucette, William1, Ericson, Jon2, Hettenbach, Kevin2, Sims, Ron1, 1 Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA2 Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton, CT, USA
ABSTRACT- Observations of low concentrations of pharmaceuticals in surface waters (e.g. ES&T, (2002, 36, 1202-1211), have raised questions regarding the potential for inadvertent human exposure via drinking water. While the potential impact from exposure to very low, sub-therapeutic levels of pharmaceuticals has not been clearly characterized, risk assessments conducted to date have often assumed a worst-case scenario, that drinking water concentrations are the same as those found in surface waters. This neglects drinking water treatment plant processes such as coagulation, settling, filtration and disinfection that may reduce or eliminate pharmaceuticals present in surface waters. To examine the impact of these processes, a bench-scale drinking water treatment plant was constructed and used to evaluate the potential removal of several model pharmaceuticals including salicylic acid, caffeine and estradiol. The model compounds were selected to represent a variety of physicochemical properties. Radiolabeled compounds were used to facilitate detection at environmentally relevant levels and to enable a complete mass balance analysis. The study targeted typical drinking water treatment operations used in municipal facilities throughout North America including coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, softening, dual-media gravity filtration, granular activated carbon treatment, and disinfection, in combination or alone. Fate processes assessed included: degradation, sorption to sludges or filter material and transport via aqueous phase. The results of these bench scale experiments will be presented along with a model for predicting the fate of pharmaceutical-type compounds in full-scale drinking water treatment facilities.
Key words: caffeine, unit processes, water treatment
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