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Water 2017, 9(3), 218; doi:10.3390/w9030218

Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater and Their Interaction with Shallow Aquifers: A Case Study of Horní Beřkovice, Czech Republic

1
T.G. Masaryk Water Research Institute, Podbabská 2582/30, 160 00 Prague 6, Czech Republic
2
Department of Hydrogeology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic
4
Vodní Zdroje a.s., Jindřicha Plachty 16, 150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic
5
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wilhelm Püttmann
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract

The application of innovative technologies in water management, such as wastewater reuse, requires a deeper understanding of emerging pollutants, including pharmaceuticals. This study presents a unique pilot site at Horní Beřkovice in Central Bohemia, where wastewater parameters are significantly influenced by the effluent from a local psychiatric hospital, and where the treated wastewater infiltrates into a shallow aquifer over a long period. The survey compared the quality parameters of local wastewater with those of the wastewater in four other catchments with no sources of concentrated pharmaceutical contamination. A total of 10 pharmaceuticals were detected while monitoring a common sewage system, but their number increased 3-fold at Horní Beřkovice. The water quality data revealed the effectiveness of the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater at the local sewage treatment plant and tracked the fate of substances that move from the treatment plant into the recharge ponds and then gradually into groundwater. The findings showed a significant decrease in all the monitored micropollutants that remained bound in sediments and in the unsaturated zone. Their passage into groundwater was highly reduced, and they virtually disappear after a few hundred meters in the saturated zone. The only exception is carbamazepine. This substance passes through the treatment technology and unsaturated zone. It systematically appears in the groundwater samples collected about 1 km from the infiltration site. View Full-Text
Keywords: micropollutants; pharmaceuticals; wastewater; groundwater; infiltration micropollutants; pharmaceuticals; wastewater; groundwater; infiltration
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rozman, D.; Hrkal, Z.; Váňa, M.; Vymazal, J.; Boukalová, Z. Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater and Their Interaction with Shallow Aquifers: A Case Study of Horní Beřkovice, Czech Republic. Water 2017, 9, 218.

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