Antibiotic fate and transport in three effluent-dominated Ozark streams

Ecological Engineering
By: , and 



Antibiotic transport downstream from a wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge was evaluated along stream reaches on Mud Creek, Spring Creek, and Decatur Branch in northwestern Arkansas, USA. Water and streambed samples were collected during August and September 2006 and analyzed for multiple antibiotics representing five classes (beta-lactams, macrolides, quinolones, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines). Antibiotics within the classes macrolides, quinolones, and sulfonamides were detected in the water column at all three stream reaches. Several of these same antibiotics, as well as antibiotics from the class tetracycline, were measured in streambed material at quantities significantly greater than those observed in the water column. Pseudo-partitioning coefficients ranged from 4 to >8000 L kg−1. Most of the antibiotics studied were significantly retained in the reaches at Mud Creek and Spring Creek and traveled kilometer-scale distances (Snet, 3.3–20.2 km) with low uptake velocities (vf-net, 2.9–16.1 × 10−6 m s−1) and rates (Unet 0.01–37.9 × 10−6 μg m−2 s−1). Some antibiotics increased in concentration downstream from the effluent discharge at Decatur Branch, suggesting possible release from within the fluvial channel or additional sources along the stream reach. In general, antibiotics traveled kilometer-scale distances before significant dilution occurred through in-stream processes (e.g., advection, dispersion, sorption, uptake and/or degradation) within the fluvial channel of these effluent-dominated streams.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Antibiotic fate and transport in three effluent-dominated Ozark streams
Series title Ecological Engineering
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2010.04.009
Volume 36
Issue 7
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 9 p.
First page 930
Last page 938
Country United States
State Arkansas
Other Geospatial Mud Creek, Spring Creek, Decatur Branch
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details