Daily Archives: December 26, 2014

Micropollutants in Recycled Wastewater; Are They Harmfull?

Tang JY, Busetti F, Charrois JW, Escher BI. Which chemicals drive biological effects in wastewater and recycled water? Water Research 2014 Sep 1; Vol. 60, pp. 289-99.


Removal of organic micropollutants from wastewater during secondary treatment followed by reverse osmosis and UV disinfection was evaluated by a combination of four in-vitro cell-based bioassays and chemical analysis of 299 organic compounds. Concentrations detected in recycled water were below the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. Thus the detected chemicals were considered not to pose any health risk. The detected pesticides in the wastewater treatment plant effluent and partially advanced treated water explained all observed effects on photosynthesis inhibition. In contrast, mixture toxicity experiments with designed mixtures containing all detected chemicals at their measured concentrations demonstrated that the known chemicals explained less than 3% of the observed cytotoxicity and less than 1% of the oxidative stress response. Pesticides followed by pharmaceuticals and personal care products dominated the observed mixture effects. The detected chemicals were not related to the observed genotoxicity. The large proportion of unknown toxicity calls for effect monitoring complementary to chemical monitoring.

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Microbial Contamination of Drinking Water in Pakistan

F Nabeela, A Azizullah, U Roqaia, M Syeda, W Murad, S Shakir, W Ullah, M Qasim, D-P Häder. Microbial contamination of drinking water in Pakistan-a review. Environmental Science & Pollution Research; Dec2014, Vol. 21 Issue 24, p13929-13942

Water pollution with pathogenic microorganisms is one of the serious threats to human health, particularly in developing countries. The main objective of this article is to highlight microbial contamination of drinking water, the major factors responsible for microbial contamination, and the resulting health problems in Pakistan. Furthermore, this study will be helpful for researchers and administrative agencies to initiate relevant studies and develop new policies to protect further deterioration of water supply with pathogenic microbes and ensure clean and safe drinking water to the public in Pakistan. In Pakistan, water at the source, in the distribution network, and at the consumer tap is heavily polluted with coliforms and fecal coliforms all over the country. An overview of more than 7,000 water samples reviewed here reveals that an average of over 71 and 58 % samples in the country was contaminated with total coliforms and fecal coliforms, respectively. Drinking water contamination accounts for 20 to 40 % of all diseases in the country, which causes national income losses of Rs 25-58 billion annually (US$0.25-0.58 billion, approximately 0.6-1.44 % of the country’s GDP). Improper disposal of industrial and municipal wastes is the most important factor responsible for water pollution in the country followed by cross-contamination due to old and leaking pipes and lack of water filtration and disinfection facilities. There is an urgent need for emergency steps to stop further deterioration of water quality and improve the existing water quality so as to protect the public from widespread waterborne diseases.

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Iodinated DBPs in Chlorinated Saline Wastewater Effluents

T Gong, X Zhang. Detection, identification and formation of new iodinated disinfection byproducts in chlorinated saline wastewater effluents.  Water Research 2015-01-01 68:77-86.

The use of seawater for toilet flushing introduces high levels of inorganic ions, including iodide ions, into a city’s wastewater treatment systems, resulting in saline wastewater effluents. Chlorination is widely used in disinfecting wastewater effluents owing to its low cost and high efficiency. During chlorination of saline wastewater effluents, iodide may be oxidized to hypoiodous acid, which may further react with effluent organic matter to form iodinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Iodinated DBPs show significantly higher toxicity than their brominated and chlorinated analogues and thus have been drawing increasing concerns. In this study, polar iodinated DBPs were detected in chlorinated saline wastewater effluents using a novel precursor ion scan method. The major polar iodinated DBPs were identified and quantified, and their organic precursors and formation pathways were investigated. The formation of iodinated DBPs under different chlorine doses and contact times was also studied. The results indicated that a few polar iodinated DBPs were generated in the chlorinated saline primary effluent, but few were generated in the chlorinated saline secondary effluent. Several major polar iodinated DBPs in the chlorinated saline primary effluent were proposed with structures, among which a new group of polar iodinated DBPs, iodo-trihydroxybenzenesulfonic acids, were identified and quantified. The organic precursors of this new group of DBPs were found to be 4-hydroxybenzenesulfonic acid and 1,2,3-trihydroxybenzene, and the formation pathways of these new DBPs were tentatively proposed. Both chlorine dose and contact time affected the formation of iodinated DBPs in the chlorinated saline wastewater effluents.

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