Matching Items (6)

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Contaminants of emerging concern in U.S. sewage sludges and forecasting of associated ecological and human health risks using sewage epidemiology approaches

Description

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide up-to-date information on chemical usage rates for epidemiological assessments. The

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide up-to-date information on chemical usage rates for epidemiological assessments. The objective of the present study was to extrapolate this concept, termed 'sewage epidemiology', to include municipal sewage sludge (MSS) in identifying and prioritizing contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). To test this the following specific aims were defined: i) to screen and identify CECs in nationally representative samples of MSS and to provide nationwide inventories of CECs in U.S. MSS; ii) to investigate the fate and persistence in MSS-amended soils, of sludge-borne hydrophobic CECs; and iii) to develop an analytical tool relying on contaminant levels in MSS as an indicator for identifying and prioritizing hydrophobic CECs. Chemicals that are primarily discharged to the sewage systems (alkylphenol surfactants) and widespread persistent organohalogen pollutants (perfluorochemicals and brominated flame retardants) were analyzed in nationally representative MSS samples. A meta-analysis showed that CECs contribute about 0.04-0.15% to the total dry mass of MSS, a mass equivalent of 2,700-7,900 metric tonnes of chemicals annually. An analysis of archived mesocoms from a sludge weathering study showed that 64 CECs persisted in MSS/soil mixtures over the course of the experiment, with half-lives ranging between 224 and >990 days; these results suggest an inherent persistence of CECs that accumulate in MSS. A comparison of the spectrum of chemicals (n=52) analyzed in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and MSS revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that MSS may serve as an indicator for ongoing human exposures and body burdens of pollutants in humans. In conclusion, I posit that this novel approach in sewage epidemiology may serve to pre-screen and prioritize the several thousands of known or suspected CECs to identify those that are most prone to pose a risk to human health and the environment.

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2013

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Surveilling United States Sewage Sludge for Genetic Evidence of Genomoviridae & Microviridae Populations

Description

Following the journey through the sewerage system, wastewater is subject to a series of purification procedures, prior to water reuse and disposal of the resultant sewage sludge. Biosolids, also known as treated sewage sludge, deemed fit for application on

Following the journey through the sewerage system, wastewater is subject to a series of purification procedures, prior to water reuse and disposal of the resultant sewage sludge. Biosolids, also known as treated sewage sludge, deemed fit for application on land, is a nutrient-rich, semisolid byproduct of biological wastewater treatment. Technological progression in metagenomics has allowed for large-scale analysis of complex viral communities in a number of samples, including wastewater. Members of the Microviridae family are non-enveloped, ssDNA bacteriophages, and are known to infect enterobacteria. Members of the Genomoviridae family similarly are non-enveloped, ssDNA viruses, but are presumed to infect fungi rather than eubacteria. As these two families of viruses are not relatively documented and their diversity poorly classified, this study aimed to analyze the presence of genomoviruses and the diversity of microviruses in nine samples representative of wastewater in Arizona and other regions of the United States. Using a metagenomic approach, the nucleic acids of genomoviruses and microviruses were isolated, assembled into complete genomes, and characterized through visual analysis: a heat chart showing percent coverage for genomoviruses and a circular phylogenetic tree showing diversity of microviruses. The heat map results for the genomoviruses showed a large presence of 99 novel sequences in all nine wastewater samples. Additionally, the 535 novel microviruses displayed great diversity in the cladogram, both in terms of sub-family and isolation source. Further research should be conducted in order to classify the taxonomy of microviruses and the diversity of genomoviruses. Finally, this study suggests future exploration of the viral host, prior to entering the wastewater system.

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2020-05

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Analysis and modeling of residual compounds in process streams from U.S. wastewater treatment plants

Description

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs)

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) during water reclamation. Analytical methods and predictive models can help inform on the rates at which these contaminants enter the environment via biosolids use or wastewater effluent release to estimate the risk of adverse effects. The goals of this research project were to integrate the results obtained from the two different methods of risk assessment, (a) in silico modeling and (b) experimental analysis. Using a previously published empirical model, influent and effluent concentration ranges were predicted for 10 sterols and validated with peer-reviewed literature. The in silico risk assessment analysis performed for sterols and hormones in biosolids concluded that hormones possess high leaching potentials and that particularly 17-α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) can pose significant threat to fathead minnows (P. promelas) via leaching from terrestrial depositions of biosolids. Six mega-composite biosolids samples representative of 94 WWTPs were analyzed for a suite of 120 PPCPs using the extended U.S. EPA Method 1694 protocol. Results indicated the presence of 26 previously unmonitored PPCPs in the samples with estimated annual release rates of 5-15 tons yr-1 via land application of biosolids. A mesocosm sampling analysis that was included in the study concluded that four compounds amitriptyline, paroxetine, propranolol and sertraline warrant further monitoring due to their high release rates from land applied biosolids and their calculated extended half-lives in soils. There is a growing interest in the scientific community towards the development of new analytical protocols for analyzing solid matrices such as biosolids for the presence of PPCPs and other established and emerging contaminants of concern. The two studies presented here are timely and an important addition to the increasing base of scientific articles regarding environmental release of PPCPs and exposure risks associated with biosolids land application. This research study emphasizes the need for coupling experimental results with predictive analytical modeling output in order to more fully assess the risks posed by compounds detected in biosolids.

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Date Created
2012

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The Siemens hybrid process: mathematical modeling and analysis of an innovative and sustainable pilot wastewater treatment process

Description

To address sustainability issues in wastewater treatment (WWT), Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) has designed a "hybrid" process that couples common activated sludge (AS) and anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies with the novel concepts of AD sludge recycle and biosorption. At least

To address sustainability issues in wastewater treatment (WWT), Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) has designed a "hybrid" process that couples common activated sludge (AS) and anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies with the novel concepts of AD sludge recycle and biosorption. At least 85% of the hybrid's AD sludge is recycled to the AS process, providing additional sorbent for influent particulate chemical oxygen demand (PCOD) biosorption in contact tanks. Biosorbed PCOD is transported to the AD, where it is converted to methane. The aim of this study is to provide mass balance and microbial community analysis (MCA) of SWT's two hybrid and one conventional pilot plant trains and mathematical modeling of the hybrid process including a novel model of biosorption. A detailed mass balance was performed on each tank and the overall system. The mass balance data supports the hybrid process is more sustainable: It produces 1.5 to 5.5x more methane and 50 to 83% less sludge than the conventional train. The hybrid's superior performance is driven by 4 to 8 times longer solid retention times (SRTs) as compared to conventional trains. However, the conversion of influent COD to methane was low at 15 to 22%, and neither train exhibited significant nitrification or denitrification. Data were inconclusive as to the role of biosorption in the processes. MCA indicated the presence of Archaea and nitrifiers throughout both systems. However, it is inconclusive as to how active Archaea and nitrifiers are under anoxic, aerobic, and anaerobic conditions. Mathematical modeling confirms the hybrid process produces 4 to 20 times more methane and 20 to 83% less sludge than the conventional train under various operating conditions. Neither process removes more than 25% of the influent nitrogen or converts more that 13% to nitrogen gas due to biomass washout in the contact tank and short SRTs in the stabilization tank. In addition, a mathematical relationship was developed to describe PCOD biosorption through adsorption to biomass and floc entrapment. Ultimately, process performance is more heavily influenced by the higher AD SRTs attained when sludge is recycled through the system and less influenced by the inclusion of biosorption kinetics.

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Date Created
2011

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Environmental monitoring strategies for assessing chemical threats to public health

Description

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance use (e.g., consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco). Measuring chemical

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance use (e.g., consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco). Measuring chemical occurrence and concentrations in environmental matrices can help to pinpoint human exposure routes. For instance, indoor dust, a sink of indoor environmental contaminants, can serve to assess indoor air contamination and associated human exposures. Urban wastewater arriving at treatment plants contains urine and stool from the general population, the analysis of which can provide information on chemical threats in the community and ongoing harmful exposures. Analysis of sewage sludge can serve to reveal the identity and quantity of persistent organic pollutants in cities and inform estimates of toxic body burdens in local populations.

The objective of this dissertation was to investigate the occurrence and quantity of select, potentially harmful, anthropogenic chemicals in various environmental matrices and to explore the diagnostic value of analytical assays for informing public health decision-making. This dissertation (i) is the first to report spatio-temporal variations and estrogenic burdens of five parabens in sewage sludge from at the U.S. nationwide scale; (ii) represents the first China-wide survey to assess the occurrence and toxic emissions of parabens, triclosan, triclocarban, as well as triclocarban metabolites and transformation products contained in Chinese sewage sludge; (iii) documents the first use of a dispersive solid phase extraction method for indoor dust to measure dust-borne parabens, triclosan and triclocarban and estimating associated human exposures from dust ingestion; and (iv) is the first U.S. study to assess population-level alcohol and nicotine consumption in three U.S. communities using wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). Obtained data on baseline levels of selected emerging contaminants in sewage sludge and indoor dust can serve to inform the future monitoring needs, risk assessment, and policy making. This work showcases the utility of WBE and urban metabolism metrology via dust and sewage sludge analysis to assess human behavior (e.g., drinking and smoking) and exposure risks more rapidly, efficiently and anonymously than traditional approaches can.

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Date Created
2018

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Comparative Exposure Assessment of Antibiotic Resistance Determinants in Biosolids in Fertilizer Application to Lettuce Crops

Description

Water is a scarce resource that is recycled through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to help fulfill the demand for water. Agriculture is a large consumer of water, indicating that WWTP-treated water is proportionally applied to crops at a high rate.

Water is a scarce resource that is recycled through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to help fulfill the demand for water. Agriculture is a large consumer of water, indicating that WWTP-treated water is proportionally applied to crops at a high rate. Recycled water is highly regulated but is capable of containing high-risk pathogens and contaminants despite the efforts of physical and microbial treatments throughout the WWTP process. WWTPs are also producers of biosolids, treated sewage sludge regulated by the EPA that can be applied in agricultural settings to act as a fertilizer. Biosolids are a useful fertilizer as they are rich in nitrogen and contain many beneficial nutrients for soil and crops. Due to biosolids being a by-product of recycled water, they are susceptible to containing the same pathogens and contaminants that can be transferred in the WWTP systems. Antibiotic resistance (AR) is an ever-growing threat on a global scale and is one of the areas of concern for consideration of pathogen spread from WWTPs. Antibiotic resistance bacteria, created through mutation of bacterial plasmids producing antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), have been quantified and studied to help mitigate the risk posed by continued AR spread in the environment. This study aims to produce a comprehensive collection of quantified ARG concentration data in biosolids, as well as producing a QMRA model integrating Monte Carlo distributions to provide groundwork for understanding of the direct dosage and consumption of ARGs to the standard U.S. citizen. The study determined that sul1, sul2, tetM, and tetO are ARGs of high concern in biosolid samples based on current concentration data of biosolid samples. The resulting dose models and gene concentration distributions provide data to support the need to mitigate AR risk presented by agricultural biosolid application.

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2022-05