Sampling for PPCPs in wastewater systems: Comparison of different sampling modes and optimization strategies

Ort, Christoph, Lawrence, Michael Glen, Reungoat, Julien and Mueller, Jochen F. (2010) Sampling for PPCPs in wastewater systems: Comparison of different sampling modes and optimization strategies. Environmental Science & Technology, 44 16: 6289-6296. doi:10.1021/es100778d

Author Ort, Christoph
Lawrence, Michael Glen
Reungoat, Julien
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Sampling for PPCPs in wastewater systems: Comparison of different sampling modes and optimization strategies
Journal name Environmental Science & Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-936X
Publication date 2010-07-15
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es100778d
Volume 44
Issue 16
Start page 6289
End page 6296
Total pages 8
Editor Jerald Schnoor
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract The aim of this study was to assess uncertainties associated with different sampling modes when evaluating loads of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in sewers and influents to sewage treatment plants (STPs). The study demonstrates that sampling uncertainty can range from “not significant” to “far greater than the uncertainty due to chemical analysis”, which is site- and compound-specific and depends on the (in)accuracy of the analytical method. Conventional sampling devices operated in common time- or flow-proportional sampling modes, and applying traditional sampling intervals of 30 min or longer can result in the collection of nonrepresentative samples. At the influent of a STP, wastewater may appear as a continuous stream, but it is actually composed of a number of intermittently discharged, individual wastewater packets from household appliances, industries, or subcatchments in pressurized sewer systems. The resulting heterogeneity can cause significant short-term variations of pollutant loads. We present different experimental results and a modeling approach showing that the magnitude of sampling uncertainty depends mainly on the number of pollutant peaks and the sampling frequency; sampling intervals of 5 min or shorter may be required to properly account for temporal PPCP variations in influents of STPs. A representative sample is a prerequisite for providing meaningful analytical results and cannot be compensated with a large number of samples, accurate chemical analysis, or sophisticated statistical evaluation. This study highlights that generalizing from one case to another is difficult and hence a careful systems analysis of the catchment under investigation, or precautionary choice for a sophisticated sampling mode, is necessary to prove reproducibility.
Keyword Wastewater
Sampling artifacts
Optimization strategies
Grab sampling
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Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Received March 10, 2010. Revised manuscript received May 26, 2010. Accepted June 17, 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Created: Thu, 12 Aug 2010, 11:47:49 EST by Hong Lee on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre