Fifty-nine stream-water samples and 14 municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) discharge samples in Johnson County, northeastern Kansas, were analyzed for 55 compounds collectively described as organic wastewater compounds (OWCs). Stream-water samples were collected upstream, in, and downstream from WWTF discharges in urban and rural areas during base-flow conditions. The effect of secondary treatment processes on OWC occurrence was evaluated by collecting eight samples from WWTF discharges using activated sludge and six from WWTFs samples using trickling filter treatment processes. Samples collected directly from WWTF discharges contained the largest concentrations of most OWCs in this study. Samples from trickling filter discharges had significantly larger concentrations of many OWCs (p-value < 0.05) compared to samples collected from activated sludge discharges. OWC concentrations decreased significantly in samples from WWTF discharges compared to stream-water samples collected from sites greater than 2000??m downstream. Upstream from WWTF discharges, base-flow samples collected in streams draining predominantly urban watersheds had significantly larger concentrations of cumulative OWCs (p-value = 0.03), caffeine (p-value = 0.01), and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (p-value < 0.01) than those collected downstream from more rural watersheds.
Additional publication details
Occurrence of organic wastewater compounds in effluent-dominated streams in Northeastern Kansas