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Removal of Microconstituents in an Advanced Water Treatment Facility and Identifying Potential Water Quality Impact to Surface Canals and Groundwater

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The supplementation of surface water and groundwater with highly treated wastewater raises environmental and public health concerns. Current research suggests that the microconstituents (often referred to as endocrine disrupting and pharmaceutically active compounds) found in reverse osmosis permeate pose no human health risk, though public concern over these compounds remains a substantial hurdle. However, existing literature does indicate that some microconstituents at or above 0.1 ng/L will induce hormonal changes in aquatic life. This project, funded by the WateReuse Foundation and the South Florida Water Management District, was designed to: 1) Demonstrate the removal of microconstituents through various membrane processes (membrane bioreactors, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis); 2) Correlate microconstituent concentrations to toxicological response using tissue culture and live fish bioassays; 3) Track the fate and transport of a range of potential microconstituents from a surface water injection point to groundwater supply wells.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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