Bioanalytical tools for the evaluation of organic micropollutants during sewage treatment, water recycling and drinking water generation

Macova, Miroslava, Toze, Simon, Hodgers, Leonie, Mueller, Jochen F., Bartkow, Michael and Escher, Beate I. (2011) Bioanalytical tools for the evaluation of organic micropollutants during sewage treatment, water recycling and drinking water generation. Water Research, 45 14: 4238-4247. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2011.05.032

Author Macova, Miroslava
Toze, Simon
Hodgers, Leonie
Mueller, Jochen F.
Bartkow, Michael
Escher, Beate I.
Title Bioanalytical tools for the evaluation of organic micropollutants during sewage treatment, water recycling and drinking water generation
Journal name Water Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1354
Publication date 2011-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2011.05.032
Volume 45
Issue 14
Start page 4238
End page 4247
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher IWA Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A bioanalytical test battery was used for monitoring organic micropollutants across an indirect potable reuse scheme testing sites across the complete water cycle from sewage to drinking water to assess the efficacy of different treatment barriers. The indirect potable reuse scheme consists of seven treatment barriers: (1) source control, (2) wastewater treatment plant, (3) microfiltration, (4) reverse osmosis, (5) advanced oxidation, (6) natural environment in a reservoir and (7) drinking water treatment plant. Bioanalytical results provide complementary information to chemical analysis on the sum of micropollutants acting together in mixtures. Six endpoints targeting the groups of chemicals with modes of toxic action of particular relevance for human and environmental health were included in the evaluation: genotoxicity, estrogenicity (endocrine disruption), neurotoxicity, phytotoxicity, dioxin-like activity and non-specific cell toxicity. The toxicity of water samples was expressed as toxic equivalent concentrations (TEQ), a measure that translates the effect of the mixtures of unknown and potentially unidentified chemicals in a water sample to the effect that a known reference compound would cause. For each bioassay a different representative reference compound was selected. In this study, the TEQ concept was applied for the first time to the umuC test indicative of genotoxicity using 4- nitroquinoline as the reference compound for direct genotoxicity and benzo[a]pyrene for genotoxicity after metabolic activation.
The TEQ were observed to decrease across the seven treatment barriers in all six selected bioassays. Each bioassay showed a differentiated picture representative for a different group of chemicals and their mixture effect. The TEQ of the samples across the seven barriers were in the same order of magnitude as seen during previous individual studies in wastewater and advanced water treatment plants and reservoirs. For the first time a benchmarking was performed that allows direct comparison of different treatment technologies and covers several orders of magnitude of TEQ from highly contaminated sewage to drinking water with TEQ close or below the limit of detection. Detection limits of the bioassays were decreased in comparison to earlier studies by optimizing sample preparation and test protocols, and were comparable to or lower than the quantification limits of the routine chemical analysis, which allowed monitoring of the presence and removal of micropollutants post Barrier 2 and in drinking water. The results obtained by bioanalytical tools were reproducible, robust and consistent with previous studies assessing the effectiveness of the wastewater and advanced water treatment plants. The results of this study indicate that bioanalytical results expressed as TEQ are useful to assess removal efficiency of micropollutants throughout all treatment steps of water recycling.
Keyword Bioassays
In vitro
Treatment barriers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 44 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 15 Aug 2011, 09:21:22 EST by System User on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology