Monitoring of carbamazepine concentrations in wastewater and groundwater enables us to identify and quantify sewer exfiltration. The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine is hardly removed in wastewater treatment plants and not or just slightly attenuated during bank infiltration and subsoil flow. Concentrations in wastewater are generally 1,000 times higher than the limit of quantification. In contrast to many other wastewater tracers carbamazepine is discharged to the environment only via domestic wastewater. The results from this study carried out in Linz, Austria indicate an average exfiltration rate of 1%, expressed as percentage of the dry weather flow that is lost to the groundwater on the city-wide scale. This rate is lower than sewage losses reported in most other studies which attempted to quantify exfiltration on the basis of groundwater pollution. However, it was also possible to identify one area with significantly higher sewage losses. This method seems to be very suitable for the verification of leakage models used to assess sewer exfiltration on a regional scale.

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