Publications in Scientific Journals:

M. Clara, G. Windhofer, P. Weilgony, O. Gans, M. Denner, A. Chovanec, M. Zessner:
"Identification of relevant micropollutants in Austrian municipal wastewater and their behaviour during wastewater treatment";
Chemosphere, 87 (2012), 11; 1265 - 1272.

English abstract:
The European Union has defined environmental quality standards (EQSs) for surface waters for priority substances and several other pollutants. Furthermore national EQSs for several chemicals are valid in Austria. The study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. In a first screening of 15 WWTPs relevant substances were identified, which subsequently were monitored in 9WWTPs over 1 year (every 2 months). Out of 77 substances or groups of
substances (including more than 90 substances) 13 were identified as potentially relevant in respect to water pollution and subjected to the monitoring, whereas most other compounds were detected in concentrations far below the respective EQS for surface waters and therefore not further considered. The preselected 13 compounds for monitoring were cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), diuron, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), di(ethyl-hydroxyl)phthalate (DEHP), tributyltin compounds (TBT), nonylphenoles (NP), adsorbable organic halogens (AOX) and the complexing agents ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as well as nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA). In the effluents of WWTPs
the concentrations of the priority substances Cd, NP, TBT and diuron frequently exceeded the respective
EQS, whereas the concentrations for DEHP and Ni were below the respective EQS. The effluent concentrations
for AOX, EDTA, NTA, Cu, Se and Zn frequently are in the range or above the Austrian EQS for surface
waters. Besides diuron and EDTA all compounds are removed at least partially during wastewater treatment
and for most substances the removal via the excess sludge is the major removal pathway. For the 13
compounds which were monitored in WWTP effluents population equivalent specific discharges were
calculated. Since for many compounds no or only few information is available, these population equivalent
specific discharges can be used to assess emissions from municipal WWTPs to surface waters as well
as to make a first assessment of the impact of a discharge on surface waters chemical status. Comparing
discharges and river pollution on a load basis, the influence of diffuse sources becomes obvious and
therefore should also be taken into consideration in river management.

Priority substances, Micropollutants, Occurrence, Fate, Municipal wastewater, Emission factors

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.