Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) represent a significant source for the input of micro pollutants as endocrine disruptors (EDs) or pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) into the aquatic environment. Treatment efficiency of WWTPs often is reported, taking into account only inflow and effluent concentrations without further specification of the WWTP investigated. In order to allow comparison and evaluation of the removal efficiency of different layouts and concepts in wastewater treatment, additional information like the sludge retention time (SRT) and sludge load (F/M ratio) are necessary. Presented results from different WWTPs show correlation of removal of EDs and PhACs to the SRT. Compared to WWTPs with high F/M ratio implementation of the nitrification process on WWTPs results in a significant increase of the removal efficiency for EDs and PhACs. This paper describes an approach to determine comparable removal rates for different activated sludge systems based on mass balance and SRT.

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