Neptune project deliverable D3.2

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Data set of ecotoxicity testing in relevant treatment processes and additionally of two emerging contaminants

Micropollutants – trace organic contaminants occurring at ng/L concentrations or even below – attract more and more attention because of their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. Thousands of different chemicals are introduced in the aquatic environment on trace levels (Schwarzenbach et al., 2006) but only a few have been characterized for ecotoxicity atenvironmentally relevant concentrations yet. Especially pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) often exhibit high biological activity with some accompanied by a high persistency or pseudo-persistency (Daughton, 2003), thus having the potential to endanger non-target species (Jobling et al., 2003; Parrott & Blunt, 2005; Oehlmann et al., 2004; Nentwig, 2007; Triebskorn et al., 2007). According to Schwarzenbach et al. (2006) and Wick et al. (2009) conventional wastewater (WW) treatment processes eliminate such substances often not sufficiently. Therefore end of pipe techniques could play an important role to reduce the contamination of highly polluted surface waters. At present the most prominent advanced techniques are ozonation and activated carbon treatment subsequent to conventional WW treatment with activated sludge. Both techniques are most promising regarding the reduction of a broad range of micropollutants (Huber et al., 2003; Nowotny et al., 2007; Hollender et al., 2009). Because chemical analyses normally focus on parent compounds while transformation products are largely unknown and thus often not considered (Schulz et al., 2008), ecotoxicity tests are indispensable for a qualitative evaluation of advanced treatment methods. Therefore a broad range of different in-vivo and in-vitro bioassays were applied to investigate the detoxification potential of different advanced wastewater treatment methods.

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