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Evaluating the fate of six common pharmaceuticals using a reactive transport model: Insights from a stream tracer test
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Hydraulic Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2716-4446
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Hydraulic Engineering.
Univeristy of Bayreuth.
Stockholm University.
2013 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 458, 344-354 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Quantitative information regarding the capacity of rivers to self-purify pharmaceutical residues is limited. To bridge this knowledge gap, we present a methodology for quantifying the governing processes affecting the fate of pharmaceuticals in streaming waters and, especially, to evaluate their relative significance for tracer observations. A tracer test in Sava Brook, Sweden was evaluated using a coupled physical-biogeochemical model framework containing surface water transport together with a representation of transient storage in slow/immobile zones of the stream, which are presumably important for the retention and attenuation of pharmaceuticals. To assess the key processes affecting the environmental fate of the compounds, we linked the uncertainty estimates of the reaction rate coefficients to the relative influence of transformation and sorption that occurred in different stream environments. The hydrological and biogeochemical contributions to the fate of the pharmaceuticals were decoupled, and the results indicate a moderate hydrological retention in the hyporheic zone as well as in the densely vegetated parts of the stream. Biogeochemical reactions in these transient storage zones further affected the fate of the pharmaceuticals, and we found that sorption was the key process for bezafibrate, metoprolol, and naproxen, while primary transformation was the most important process for clofibric acid and ibuprofen. Conversely, diclofenac was not affected by sorption or transformation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 458, 344-354 p.
Keyword [en]
Pharmaceutical residues, Reactive transport modeling, Tracer test, Attenuation, Retention, Global sensitivity analysis
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124025DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.077ISI: 000320901700039PubMedID: 23669580ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84877815773OAI: diva2:632435

QC 20130813

Available from: 2013-06-25 Created: 2013-06-25 Last updated: 2014-08-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Solute Transport Across Scales: Time Series Analyses of Water Quality Responses to Quantify Retention and Attenuation Mechanisms in Watersheds
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Solute Transport Across Scales: Time Series Analyses of Water Quality Responses to Quantify Retention and Attenuation Mechanisms in Watersheds
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The intra-continental movement of waterborne contaminants is governed by the distribution of solute load in the landscape along with the characteristics and distribution of the hydrological pathways that transport the solutes. An understanding of the processes affecting the transport and fate of the contaminants is crucial for assessments of solute concentrations and their environmental effect on downstream recipients. Elevated concentration of nutrients and the presence of anthropogenic substances, such as pharmaceutical residues, are two examples of the current problems related to hydrological transport. The overall objective of this thesis is to increase the mechanistic understanding of the governing hydrological transport processes and their links to geomorphological and biogeochemical retention and attenuation processes. Specifically, this study aims to quantify the processes governing the transport and fate of waterborne contaminants on the point, stream reach, and watershed scales by evaluating time series obtained from stream tracer tests and water quality monitoring data. The process quantification was achieved by deriving formal expressions for the key transport characteristics, such as the central temporal moments of a unit solute response function and the spectral scaling function for time series of solute responses, which attributes the solute response in the Laplace and Fourier domains to the governing processes and spatial regions within the watershed. The results demonstrate that in addition to the hydrological and biogeochemical processes, the distribution of the load in the landscape and the geomorphological properties in terms of the distribution of transport pathway distances have defined effects on the solute response. Furthermore, the spatial variability between and along the transport pathways significantly affect the solute response. The results indicate that environments with high retention and attenuation intensity, such as stream-reaches with pronounced hyporheic zones, may often dominate the solute flux in the watershed effluent, especially for reactive solutes. The mechanistic-based framework along with the evaluation methodologies presented within this study describes how the results can be generalized in terms of model parameters that reflect the hydrology, geomorphology and biogeochemistry in the studied area. This procedure is demonstrated by the parameterization of a compartment-in-series model for phosphorous transport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. x, 62 p.
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:05
Solute transport modeling; Transient storage; Tracer test; Central temporal moments; Spectral analysis; Parameterization
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-149528 (URN)978-91-7595-232-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-12, F3, Lindstedtvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20140826

Available from: 2014-08-26 Created: 2014-08-22 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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