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Assessment of the biodegradability of selected sulfa drugs in two polluted rivers in Poland: Effects of seasonal variations, accidental contamination, turbidity and salinity

Adamek, Ewa, Baran, Wojciech, Sobczak, Andrzej
Journal of hazardous materials 2016 v.313 pp. 147-158
biodegradability, biodegradation, drugs, heavy metals, industrial effluents, pH, population dynamics, river water, rivers, salinity, seasonal variation, sulfadiazine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfathiazole, turbidity, water pollution, winter, Poland
The aim of our study was to assess the aerobic biodegradation of four selected sulfonamides (sulfanilamide, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and sulfathiazole) using water samples drawn from highly polluted rivers. Additionally, we aimed to identify the factors that have a significant effect on the process efficiency.The 19 water samples were collected from Brynica and Czarna Przemsza rivers (in Poland) at the same location at approximately monthly intervals. A characteristic feature of the results is the presence of significant differences between the rates of sulfonamides biodegradation in particular samples.The sulfonamide most resistant to biodegradation was sulfamethoxazole, whereas sulfathiazole was most biodegradable. Seasonal variations and related microbial population changes had the most significant effects on sulfonamides biodegradation, e.g., the studied process was highly inhibited during wintertime. A decrease in the biodegradation rate in the river water could be caused by an accidental water pollution by industrial wastewater with heavy metals, an increase in salinity and a decrease in pH, and turbidity.