In situ removal of four organic micropollutants in a small river determined by monitoring and modelling

Andrea F. Brunsch*, Alette A.M. Langenhoff, Huub H.M. Rijnaarts, Alexander Ahring, Thomas L. ter Laak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organic micropollutants (OMPs) are widely detected in surface waters. So far, the removal processes of these compounds in situ in river systems are not yet totally revealed. In this study, a combined monitoring and modelling approach was applied to determine the behaviour of 1-H benzotriazole, carbamazepine, diclofenac and galaxolide in a small river system. Sewage treatment plant effluents and the receiving waters of the river Swist were monitored in 9 dry weather sampling campaigns (precipitation < 1 mm on the sampling day itself and <5 mm total precipitation two days before the sampling) during different seasons over a period of 3 years. With the results gained through monitoring, mass balances have been calculated to assess fate in the river. With the DWA Water Quality Model, OMP concentrations in the river were successfully simulated with OMP characteristics gained through literature studies. No removal was determined for 1-H benzotriazole and carbamazepine, whereas diclofenac showed removal that coincided with light intensity. Moreover, modelling based on light sensitivity of diclofenac also suggested relevant degradation at natural light conditions. These two approaches suggest removal by photodegradation. The highest removal in the river was detected for galaxolide, presumably due to volatilisation, sorption and biodegradation. Furthermore, short-term concentration variability in the river was determined, showing that daily concentration patterns are influenced by dynamics of sewage treatment plant effluent volumes and removal processes in the river.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume252
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Micropollutants
  • Modelling
  • Monitoring
  • Photodegradation
  • Surface water

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