Occurrence of carbamazepine in soils under different land uses receiving wastewater

Charles W. Walker, John E. Watson, Clinton Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Due to its resistance to many wastewater treatment processes, the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) is routinely found in wastewater effluent. Wastewater irrigation is an alternative to stream discharge of wastewater effluent, which utilizes the soil as a tertiary filter to remove excess nutrients and has the potential to remove pharmaceutical compounds. Previous data suggest that CBZ is strongly sorbed to soil; however, it is unknown what its fate is for long periods of irrigation and if land use aff ects its distribution. Therefore, the objectives of our research were to characterize CBZ concentrations in soils that have been receiving wastewater irrigation for >25 yr under three diff erent land uses: cropped, grassed, and forested. Triplicate soil cores were collected at each of the land uses to a depth of 120 cm. Extractions for CBZ were performed using 5-g soil samples and 20 mL of acetonitrile. The extracted solutions were analyzed on a liquid chromatograph tandem mass spectrometer. The samples were also analyzed for supporting information such as organic carbon, pH, and electrical conductivity. Results suggest that there is accumulation of the CBZ in the surface soils, which have the highest organic carbon content. Average concentrations of CBZ in the surface soils were 4.92, 2.9, and 1.92 ng g-1, for the forested, grassed, and cropped land uses, respectively. The majority of the CBZ was found in the upper 30 cm of the profile. Our results suggest that the soils adsorb CBZ and slow its movement into groundwater, compared to the movement of nonadsorbed chemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1267
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Occurrence of carbamazepine in soils under different land uses receiving wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this