3 years ago

Effect-based assessment of toxicity removal during wastewater treatment

Effect-based assessment of toxicity removal during wastewater treatment
Wastewaters contain complex mixtures of chemicals, which can cause adverse toxic effects in the receiving environment. In the present study, the toxicity removal during wastewater treatment at seven municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) was investigated using an effect-based approach. A battery of eight bioassays was applied comprising of cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption and fish embryo toxicity assays. Human cell-based CALUX assays, transgenic larval models and the fish embryo toxicity test were particularly sensitive to WWTP effluents. The results indicate that most effects were significantly reduced or completely removed during wastewater treatment (76–100%), while embryo toxicity, estrogenic activity and thyroid disruption were still detectable in the effluents suggesting that some harmful substances remain after treatment. The responsiveness of the bioassays was compared and the human cell-based CALUX assays showed highest responsiveness in the samples. Additionally, the fish embryo toxicity test and the transgenic larval models for endocrine disrupting effects showed high responsiveness at low sample concentrations in nearly all of the effluent samples. The results showed a similar effect pattern among all WWTPs investigated, indicating that the wastewater composition could be rather similar at different locations. There were no considerable differences in the toxicity removal efficiencies of the treatment plants and no correlation was observed with WWTP characteristics, such as process configuration or sludge age. This study demonstrated that a biotest battery comprising of multiple endpoints can serve as a powerful tool when assessing water quality or water treatment efficiency in a holistic manner. Rather than analyzing the concentrations of a few selected chemicals, bioassays can be used to complement traditional methods of monitoring in the future by assessing sum-parameter based effects, such as mixture effects, and tackling chemicals that are present at concentrations below chemical analytical detection limits.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0043135417307479

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.