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Removal of Selected Natural and Synthetic Estrogenic Compounds in a Canadian Full-Scale Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant

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The effect of a full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and each of the treatment units within the stream on the removal of endocrine-disrupting compounds was evaluated by tracking 17-β-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), and 17-α-ethinylestradiol (EE2). The overall performance of the WWTP compared well with other plants, as 90.5% removal of E1+E2 and 74.9% removal of EE2 were observed. A larger fraction of EE2 entered the plant in particulate form than E1 and E2, while a lower fraction of EE2 left the plant in particulate form than soluble form. The activated sludge units reduced the concentration of E1+E2 and EE2 in the liquid phase by 88.2% and 44.6%, respectively. The UV treatment process did not reduce the amount of estrogens. The aqueous phase of the tertiary lagoon solids contained higher levels of estrogens compared with the lagoon influent.

Keywords: UV disinfection; activated sludge treatment; effluent; endocrine-disrupting compounds; equalization basin; estrogens; hormones; lagoon; municipal wastewater treatment plant

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2007

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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