Monitoring of the ecotoxicological hazard potential by polar organic micropollutants in sewage treatment plants and surface waters using a mode-of-action based test battery

Escher, Beate I., Bramaz, Nadine, Quayle, Pamela, Rutishauser, Sibylle and Vermeirssen, Etiënne L. M. (2008) Monitoring of the ecotoxicological hazard potential by polar organic micropollutants in sewage treatment plants and surface waters using a mode-of-action based test battery. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 10 5: 622-631. doi:10.1039/b800951a


Author Escher, Beate I.
Bramaz, Nadine
Quayle, Pamela
Rutishauser, Sibylle
Vermeirssen, Etiënne L. M.
Title Monitoring of the ecotoxicological hazard potential by polar organic micropollutants in sewage treatment plants and surface waters using a mode-of-action based test battery
Journal name Journal of Environmental Monitoring   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-0325
Publication date 2008
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1039/b800951a
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 10
Issue 5
Start page 622
End page 631
Total pages 9
Place of publication Cambridge, UK
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
259902 Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)
321201 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
770500 Urban and Industrial Environment
05 Environmental Sciences
0502 Environmental Science and Management
Abstract We propose and evaluate a mode-of-action based test battery of low-complexity and in-vitro bioassays that can be used as a routine monitoring tool for sewage treatment efficiency and water quality assessment. The test battery comprises five bioassays covering five different modes of toxic action. The bioluminescence inhibition test with Vibrio fischeri and a growth rate inhibition test with the green algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata are measures of non-specific integrative effects. A second endpoint in the algae test, the specific inhibition of the efficiency of photosynthesis, gives an account of the presence of herbicides. An enzymatic assay covers an important aspect of insecticidal activity, the inhibition of the acetylcholine esterase activity. Estrogenic effects are assessed with the yeast estrogen screen (YES) and genotoxicity with the umuC test. Three field studies, each lasting six to seven consecutive days, were undertaken at a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Switzerland. Samples were collected in summer and late autumn, under dry and rainy conditions. None of the bioassays gave positive results with raw water in whole effluent toxicity testing. Therefore, water samples from various sites during wastewater treatment and from surface water were enriched with solid-phase extraction. The focus was on non-volatile compounds of average to moderate hydrophobicity, a range that includes most pesticides, biocides and pharmaceuticals. Various polar solid phases were evaluated for their extraction efficiency, disturbance by matrix components and overall performance. We finally selected a mixture of a polymeric sorbent and a C18-sorbent, Lichrolut EN and RP-18 or, alternatively, Empore SDB-RPS disks. All bioassays gave clear and robust responses with the SPE extracts. With the bioassay data the treatment efficiency of the STP can be assessed with respect to different modes of toxic action and accordingly different groups of micropollutants. Furthermore, the data allowed for a comparison between the effluent and the receiving river. In all bioassays the primary effluent had a strong effect and this effect was reduced after passing the STP. Treatment efficiency was high (typically over 90%) but varied from bioassay to bioassay, which is expected because each bioassay detects different types of micropollutants and therefore we cannot expect a common answer.
Keyword Sewage treatment
Water
Wastewater treatment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Copyright The Royal Society of Chemistry (2008)

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 01 May 2008, 12:10:22 EST by Marie-Louise Moore on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences