Main content area

Occurrence and fate of endocrine disrupting compounds in wastewater treatment plants in Israel and the Palestinian West Bank

Dotan, Pniela, Godinger, Tal, Odeh, Wad, Groisman, Ludmila, Al-Khateeb, Nader, Rabbo, Alfred Abed, Tal, Alon, Arnon, Shai
Chemosphere 2016 v.155 pp. 86-93
bisphenol A, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, risk, sewage treatment, sludge, wastewater, wastewater treatment, Israel, West Bank
Israel and its Palestinian neighbors constitute a unique venue for evaluating the treatment efficiency and potential environmental risks of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), because of their physical proximity yet contrasting societal dynamics. Israel primarily relies on advanced tertiary sewage treatment and recycles over 85% of its treated wastewater, while in the Palestinian Authority (PA), there is only secondary treatment levels at WWTPs and reuse is minimal (<1%). To evaluate the extent of EDC occurrence and treatment efficiency, we conducted four sampling campaigns over two consecutive years, and measured the concentrations of selected EDCs in raw wastewater (WW), treated WW and sludge in six WWTPs in Israel, as well as in two Palestinian plants. Low concentrations of bisphenol A, octylphenol and triclosan measured in the raw WW in the Palestinian WWTPs reflected the relatively modest industrial activity and consumption habits as compared to the westernized consumer patterns in Israel. On the other hand, hormone concentrations in raw WW were higher in the Palestinian WWTPs than those in the Israeli WWTPs, presumably because of a dilution effect associated with a higher water per capita consumption among Israelis. Despite these differences in raw WW concentrations, the removal efficiency in all advanced WWTPs was relatively high when compared to averages reported internationally.