Main content area

Occurrence and removal efficiency of pesticides in sewage treatment plants of four Mediterranean River Basins

Campo, Julian, Masiá, Ana, Blasco, Cristina, Picó, Yolanda
Journal of hazardous materials 2013 v.263 pp. 146-157
carbendazim, chlorfenvinphos, diazinon, dimethoate, diuron, pesticide residues, rivers, sewage treatment, sludge, surveys, terbumeton, water pollution, watersheds, Spain
Removal of contaminants in the sewage treatment plants (STPs) can be incomplete causing their release to the environment. In this paper, the results of an extensive survey on more than 40 pesticides carried out in 2010 and 2011 in 16 STPs of Ebro, Guadalquivir, Jucar and Llobregat Rivers (Spain) are presented. In 2010, of 43 analytes screened, 29 were detected in influent and 28 in effluent samples, meanwhile in 2011, of 50 analytes, 33 and 34 were detected, respectively. Pesticides were in the range of 0.33ngL−1 (terbumeton, 2011)–2526.05ngL−1 (diuron, 2010) for influent and 0.25ngL−1 (terbumeton, 2011)–2821.12ngL−1 (carbendazim, 2011) for effluent. Regarding the sludge samples, 11 pesticides were detected in 2010 and 24 in 2011 at concentrations up to 25667.34ngg−1 dry weight (dw). Removal efficiencies showed that, in 2010, the elimination ranged from −810% (chlorfenvinphos) to 93% (dimethoate), and in 2011, from −4575% (diazinon) to 97% (chlorfenvinphos). All these data confirm that most of the pesticides are only partially eliminated during the secondary and even tertiary treatments, commonly used in STPs, suggesting that they can be a focal point of contamination to the rivers.