Determination of human and veterinary antibiotics in indirect potable reuse systems
This paper reports the optimisation and validation of an analytical method for the determination of the residual concentration of the prescription antibiotics metronidazole, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, azithromycin, clindamicyn, clarithromycin, erythromycin-H2O, roxithromycin and tylosin in wastewater and advanced treated wastewater. The method applied was used in a study of removal efficiency of these compounds at a full scale operational water reclamation plant using microfiltration-reverse osmosis (MF-RO) (Kwinana, Western Australia). The analytical procedure involves off-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) operated in multiple reaction monitoring mode. Method validation included determination of linearity, accuracy, precision, method limits of quantitation (MLQs), reproducibility and matrix effect. SPE recoveries were generally higher than 89% for both pre- and post-RO water, except for erythromycin which yielded approximately 50% recovery. The overall precision of the method was better than 16% RSD (relative standard deviation), for all compounds and matrices. MLQ ranged between 23–53 ng L−1 and 2.5–31 ng L−1 for pre- and post-RO water, respectively. In-house reproducibility expressed as RSD was generally better than 10%. Inter-laboratory tests revealed a generally good agreement between concentrations of antibiotics reported by all participants. Results demonstrate that MF/RO treatment is capable of removing antibiotics present at relevant environmental concentration in secondary effluent (from the low to mid ng L−1 range) to below MLQs (2.5–31 ng L−1), and more importantly, three to six orders of magnitude below the health guideline values developed for this project. Estimated RO rejections ranged between >91 and 99%.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Curtin Water Quality Research Centre (CWQRC), Department of Applied Chemistry,Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
Publication date: August 20, 2011