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Compounds of Emerging Concern Source Control Programs: Components and Results

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Compounds of emerging (potential) concern derived from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and consumer goods are being found in small to trace quantities in municipal wastewater influent and effluent. Concern has been raised with respect to their discharge because of environmental, mutagenic, or other adverse effects on aquatic organisms in receiving waters. These compounds may be difficult to degrade with conventional wastewater treatment processes passing directly through to be discharged with effluent or biosolids. If degradation occurs through treatment, metabolites may be produced that have greater impacts than the parent compound. Sources of these substances in municipal wastewater include residual pharmaceuticals, components of personal care products, plasticizers and other mainly organic compounds associated with consumer products.

This paper examines source control programs that utilize consumer education and removal of the substances before becoming part of the municipal wastewater stream. Specific components of these programs and the potential effectiveness will be discussed. Suggestions for improvement based on the experience gained with collection programs that have been implemented will also be presented.

Keywords: Pharmaceutical Source Control; Third Party Sponsorship; Unused Pharmaceutical Product Collection

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 29, 2007

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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