Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter

From wastewater to groundwater

Brittany Ayers, Kyle Elkin, Faith Kibuye, Heather Elise Gall

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People use a large variety of chemicals in their everyday lives, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and personal care products. The chemicals in these products enter the wastewater stream and are not removed completely by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), causing these chemicals and their metabolites to persist in the treated effluent. The Pennsylvania State University has spray-irrigated all of its treated wastewater onto ∼240 ha of agricultural and forested land known as the "Living Filter" since the early 1980s. Once a week from October 2016 to March 2017, 24hr composite samples were collected after each treatment process through the WWTP. Water samples were collected monthly from 14 groundwater wells (20-100 m) at the Living Filter. Samples were analyzed for seven emerging contaminants: acetaminophen, ampicillin, caffeine, naproxen, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim. The goal was to track these compounds through the WWTP and ultimately to the wells at the Living Filter to assess: (i) the removal efficiency of the WWTP and (ii) the ability of the Living Filter's soil profile to provide further treatment of the compounds that persisted in the effluent. In general, the WWTP effectively removed acetaminophen and caffeine (>90%), and exhibited seasonal variability in the removal efficiency of the other compounds, with activated sludge as the most effective step for reducing contaminant concentrations. Concentrations in the groundwater were typically at least one order of magnitude lower than the concentrations in the WWTP effluent, suggesting that the soil generally acted as an effective biogeochemical filter, except during snowmelt events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Spokane, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2017Jul 19 2017

Other

Other2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySpokane
Period7/16/177/19/17

Fingerprint

wastewater treatment
Wastewater treatment
Drug products
wastewater
Groundwater
Wastewater
groundwater
drugs
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Caffeine
effluents
acetaminophen
Effluents
Acetaminophen
caffeine
personal care products
Impurities
ofloxacin
Soils
Naproxen

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Ayers, B., Elkin, K., Kibuye, F., & Gall, H. E. (2017). Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter: From wastewater to groundwater. Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States. https://doi.org/10.13031/aim.201700255
Ayers, Brittany ; Elkin, Kyle ; Kibuye, Faith ; Gall, Heather Elise. / Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter : From wastewater to groundwater. Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States.
@conference{1578d9681fc942898d8e362b5e4b45dd,
title = "Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter: From wastewater to groundwater",
abstract = "People use a large variety of chemicals in their everyday lives, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and personal care products. The chemicals in these products enter the wastewater stream and are not removed completely by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), causing these chemicals and their metabolites to persist in the treated effluent. The Pennsylvania State University has spray-irrigated all of its treated wastewater onto ∼240 ha of agricultural and forested land known as the {"}Living Filter{"} since the early 1980s. Once a week from October 2016 to March 2017, 24hr composite samples were collected after each treatment process through the WWTP. Water samples were collected monthly from 14 groundwater wells (20-100 m) at the Living Filter. Samples were analyzed for seven emerging contaminants: acetaminophen, ampicillin, caffeine, naproxen, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim. The goal was to track these compounds through the WWTP and ultimately to the wells at the Living Filter to assess: (i) the removal efficiency of the WWTP and (ii) the ability of the Living Filter's soil profile to provide further treatment of the compounds that persisted in the effluent. In general, the WWTP effectively removed acetaminophen and caffeine (>90{\%}), and exhibited seasonal variability in the removal efficiency of the other compounds, with activated sludge as the most effective step for reducing contaminant concentrations. Concentrations in the groundwater were typically at least one order of magnitude lower than the concentrations in the WWTP effluent, suggesting that the soil generally acted as an effective biogeochemical filter, except during snowmelt events.",
author = "Brittany Ayers and Kyle Elkin and Faith Kibuye and Gall, {Heather Elise}",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.13031/aim.201700255",
language = "English (US)",
note = "2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting ; Conference date: 16-07-2017 Through 19-07-2017",

}

Ayers, B, Elkin, K, Kibuye, F & Gall, HE 2017, 'Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter: From wastewater to groundwater' Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States, 7/16/17 - 7/19/17, . https://doi.org/10.13031/aim.201700255

Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter : From wastewater to groundwater. / Ayers, Brittany; Elkin, Kyle; Kibuye, Faith; Gall, Heather Elise.

2017. Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter

T2 - From wastewater to groundwater

AU - Ayers, Brittany

AU - Elkin, Kyle

AU - Kibuye, Faith

AU - Gall, Heather Elise

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - People use a large variety of chemicals in their everyday lives, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and personal care products. The chemicals in these products enter the wastewater stream and are not removed completely by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), causing these chemicals and their metabolites to persist in the treated effluent. The Pennsylvania State University has spray-irrigated all of its treated wastewater onto ∼240 ha of agricultural and forested land known as the "Living Filter" since the early 1980s. Once a week from October 2016 to March 2017, 24hr composite samples were collected after each treatment process through the WWTP. Water samples were collected monthly from 14 groundwater wells (20-100 m) at the Living Filter. Samples were analyzed for seven emerging contaminants: acetaminophen, ampicillin, caffeine, naproxen, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim. The goal was to track these compounds through the WWTP and ultimately to the wells at the Living Filter to assess: (i) the removal efficiency of the WWTP and (ii) the ability of the Living Filter's soil profile to provide further treatment of the compounds that persisted in the effluent. In general, the WWTP effectively removed acetaminophen and caffeine (>90%), and exhibited seasonal variability in the removal efficiency of the other compounds, with activated sludge as the most effective step for reducing contaminant concentrations. Concentrations in the groundwater were typically at least one order of magnitude lower than the concentrations in the WWTP effluent, suggesting that the soil generally acted as an effective biogeochemical filter, except during snowmelt events.

AB - People use a large variety of chemicals in their everyday lives, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and personal care products. The chemicals in these products enter the wastewater stream and are not removed completely by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), causing these chemicals and their metabolites to persist in the treated effluent. The Pennsylvania State University has spray-irrigated all of its treated wastewater onto ∼240 ha of agricultural and forested land known as the "Living Filter" since the early 1980s. Once a week from October 2016 to March 2017, 24hr composite samples were collected after each treatment process through the WWTP. Water samples were collected monthly from 14 groundwater wells (20-100 m) at the Living Filter. Samples were analyzed for seven emerging contaminants: acetaminophen, ampicillin, caffeine, naproxen, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim. The goal was to track these compounds through the WWTP and ultimately to the wells at the Living Filter to assess: (i) the removal efficiency of the WWTP and (ii) the ability of the Living Filter's soil profile to provide further treatment of the compounds that persisted in the effluent. In general, the WWTP effectively removed acetaminophen and caffeine (>90%), and exhibited seasonal variability in the removal efficiency of the other compounds, with activated sludge as the most effective step for reducing contaminant concentrations. Concentrations in the groundwater were typically at least one order of magnitude lower than the concentrations in the WWTP effluent, suggesting that the soil generally acted as an effective biogeochemical filter, except during snowmelt events.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85035357053&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85035357053&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.13031/aim.201700255

DO - 10.13031/aim.201700255

M3 - Paper

ER -

Ayers B, Elkin K, Kibuye F, Gall HE. Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's living filter: From wastewater to groundwater. 2017. Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States. https://doi.org/10.13031/aim.201700255