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The Fate and Removal of Pharmaceuticals during Sewage Treatment

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Concentrations of triclosan were measured at various points within three different types of sewage treatment works: rotating biological contactors (RBC), trickling filters and activated sludge. Overall removal of triclosan through these plants ranged from 58% to 96% (RBC), 86% to 97% (trickling filter), and 95% to 98% (activated sludge). Samples were taken from a fourth sewage treatment plant and tested for tetracycline, but none was detected due to an extreme plant operation event. This work discusses how changes in plant operation, such as temperature, rainfall, and feed makeup can affect the overall removal of pharmaceuticals and how sewage treatment plants could be adapted to improve the overall removal of pharmaceuticals.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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