PPCPs wet weather mobilization in a combined sewer in NW Spain.

The Science of the total environment

PubMedID: 23425796

Del Río H, Suárez J, Puertas J, Ures P. PPCPs wet weather mobilization in a combined sewer in NW Spain. Sci Total Environ. 2013;449189-98.
An intense campaign was carried out over a 14 month period to characterize concentrations and loads of 7 well-known Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs), during dry and wet weather conditions, in an urban combined catchment in the northwest of Spain, a geographical zone with an average annual rainfall over 1500 mm. The main objective was to gather more in-depth knowledge of the mobilization of these "micropollutants" in an urban combined sewer and the possible pressures on water receiving bodies due to combined sewer overflows (CSOs). Hydrographs and pollutographs of these substances in dry weather flows (DWF), on weekdays and weekends, and wet weather flows (WWF) during 10 rain events have been characterized to obtain data that are sufficiently representative for statistical analysis. The research findings show that there is a considerable mobilization of these substances during rain events, mainly in the first part of the hydrographs, especially HHCB galaxolide, ibuprofen and paracetamol with maximum concentrations of 9.76, 8.51 and 5.71 µg/L respectively, whereas these concentrations in dry weather only reached 2.57, 2.11 and 0.72 µg/L respectively. There is a good correlation between the degree of mobilization in wet weather flows and the percentage of dry weather particulate phase of each studied substance, indicating that such mobilization may be associated with adsorption on the sediments deposited on the collectors during the antecedent dry period. These results are in good agreement with removal in conventional WWTP, especially for compounds that tend to adsorb onto sewage sludge.