Presence, behaviour and removal of selected organic micropollutants through drinking water treatment.

Research paper by Josep J Borrull, Agustí A Colom, Josepa J Fabregas, Francesc F Borrull, Eva E Pocurull

Indexed on: 23 Mar '21Published on: 22 Mar '21Published in: Chemosphere


This paper investigates the occurrence and removal of 60 organic micropollutants (OMPs) including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) treating raw water from the Ebro River (NE Spain). The behaviour of the OMPs was evaluated in each treatment: pre-ozonation, flocculation-coagulation-decantation-sand filtration, post-ozonation and granular activated carbon filtration. Thirty-one of the sixty OMPs studied were detected in source water with individual median concentrations below 10 ng L for all the compounds except for caffeine (64.1 ng L). The highest concentration peaks in the source water were found for caffeine (124.5 ng L), terbuthylazine (52.0 ng L), imidacloprid (30.2 ng L) and paracetamol (25.6 ng L). Of the 31 compounds detected in the source water, 17 were also detected in the finished drinking water. Of these 17 compounds, 10 were PFASs, which indicated that this group of compounds had not been effectively removed throughout the drinking water treatments. The overall removal efficiencies of OMPs in the DWTP ranged from -50.9% to 100%. The most efficient removal technologies were ozonation and granular activated carbon. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.