Riverbank filtration potential of pharmaceuticals in a wastewater-impacted stream

Environmental Pollution
By: , and 



Pharmaceutical contamination of shallow groundwater is a substantial concern in effluent-dominated streams, due to high aqueous mobility, designed bioactivity, and effluent-driven hydraulic gradients. In October and December 2012, effluent contributed approximately 99% and 71%, respectively, to downstream flow in Fourmile Creek, Iowa, USA. Strong hydrologic connectivity was observed between surface-water and shallow-groundwater. Carbamazepine, sulfamethoxazole, and immunologically-related compounds were detected in groundwater at greater than 0.02 μg L−1 at distances up to 6 m from the stream bank. Direct aqueous-injection HPLC-MS/MS revealed 43% and 55% of 110 total pharmaceutical analytes in surface-water samples in October and December, respectively, with 16% and 6%, respectively, detected in groundwater approximately 20 m from the stream bank. The results demonstrate the importance of effluent discharge as a driver of local hydrologic conditions in an effluent-impacted stream and thus as a fundamental control on surface-water to groundwater transport of effluent-derived pharmaceutical contaminants.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Riverbank filtration potential of pharmaceuticals in a wastewater-impacted stream
Series title Environmental Pollution
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.028
Volume 193
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 173
Last page 180
Country United States
State Iowa
City Ankeny
Other Geospatial Fourmile Creek
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