Chen M.,City of Calgary Water Resources Water Services |
Cooper V.I.,City of Calgary Water Resources Water Services |
Deng J.,City of Calgary Water Resources Water Services |
Amatya P.L.,City of Calgary Water Resources Water Services |
And 5 more authors.
Water Environment Research | Year: 2015
The influents/effluents from Calgary's water resource recovery facilities and the surface water were analyzed for pharmaceuticals in the present study. The median concentrations in the effluents for the 15 targeted pharmaceuticals were within the range of 0.006 to 3.32 ppb. Although the wastewater treatment facilities were not designed to remove pharmaceuticals, this study indicates that the wastewater treatment processes are effective in removing some of the pharmaceuticals from the aqueous phase. The removal rate estimated can be 99.5% for caffeine, whereas little or no removal was observed for carbamazepine. Biodegradation, chemical degradation, and sorption could be some of the mechanisms responsible for the removal of pharmaceuticals. The drug residues in downstream surface water could be associated with incomplete removal of pharmaceuticals during the treatment process and may lead to concerns in terms of potential impacts on the aquatic ecosystem. However, this study does not indicate any immediate risks to the downstream aquatic environment.