Both biological treatment processes including conventional activated sludge (CAS) and biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes, and physico–chemical treatment processes including ozonation process and Title 22 process consisting of coagulation, sedimentation and filtration followed by UV or chlorination disinfection after the above biological processes, were compared from the viewpoint of removal efficiency. 66 pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, analgesics, psychoneurotic agents were measured with SPE-LC/MS/MS. 26 compounds out of 66 were detected in the influent ranging ng/L to μg/L order. Particularly, disopyramide, sulpiride, and dipyridamole that have been rarely detected before in the WWTP, occurred at concentration levels of more than 100 ng/L. The total concentration of the individual pharmaceuticals in the influent was efficiently removed by 80% during the biological treatment. But removal efficiencies of carbamazepine and crotamiton were less than 30%. The total concentration of the individual pharmaceuticals in the effluent from CAS process was 1.5 times higher than that from BNR process. Further, the total concentration of the individual pharmaceuticals in the discharge from WWTPs applying ozonation following activated sludge process was reduced to less than 20%. Physico–chemical treatment train called Title 22 treatment after CAS could not efficiently remove the pharmaceuticals. However, ozonation process followed by biological activated carbon process could efficiently reduce all the residual pharmaceuticals below their quantification limits.

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