Measuring selected PPCPs in wastewater to estimate the population in different cities in China

Gao, Jianfa, O'Brien, Jake, Du, Peng, Li, Xiqing, Ort, Christoph, Mueller, Jochen F. and Thai, Phong K. (2016) Measuring selected PPCPs in wastewater to estimate the population in different cities in China. Science of the Total Environment, 568 164-170. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.216

Author Gao, Jianfa
O'Brien, Jake
Du, Peng
Li, Xiqing
Ort, Christoph
Mueller, Jochen F.
Thai, Phong K.
Title Measuring selected PPCPs in wastewater to estimate the population in different cities in China
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication date 2016-10-15
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.216
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 568
Start page 164
End page 170
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2305 Environmental Engineering
2304 Environmental Chemistry
2311 Waste Management and Disposal
2310 Pollution
Abstract Sampling and analysis of wastewater from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has become a useful tool for understanding exposure to chemicals. Both wastewater based studies and management and planning of the catchment require information on catchment population in the time of monitoring. Recently, a model has been developed and calibrated using selected pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) measured in influent wastewater for estimating population in different catchments in Australia. The present study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of utilizing this population estimation approach in China. Twenty-four hour composite influent samples were collected from 31 WWTPs in 17 cities with catchment sizes from 200,000–3,450,000 people representing all seven regions of China. The samples were analyzed for 19 PPCPs using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry in direct injection mode. Eight chemicals were detected in more than 50% of the samples. Significant positive correlations were found between individual PPCP mass loads and population estimates provided by WWTP operators. Using the PPCP mass load modeling approach calibrated with WWTP operator data, we estimated the population size of each catchment with good agreement with WWTP operator values (between 50–200% for all sites and 75–125% for 23 of the 31 sites). Overall, despite much lower detection and relatively high heterogeneity in PPCP consumption across China the model provided a good estimate of the population contributing to a given wastewater sample. Wastewater analysis could also provide objective PPCP consumption status in China.
Keyword PPCP consumption
Population estimation
Wastevvater treatment plant
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP150100645
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
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