Effects of pH, Temperature, Suspended Solids, and Biological Activity on Transformation of Illicit Drug and Pharmaceutical Biomarkers in Sewers

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

24 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Jiaying Li
  • Jianfa Gao
  • Qiuda Zheng
  • Phong K. Thai
  • Haoran Duan
  • Jochen F. Mueller
  • Guangming Jiang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8771-8782
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume55
Issue number13
Online published23 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

In-sewer stability of biomarkers is a critical factor for wastewater-based epidemiology, as it could affect the accuracy of the estimated prevalence of substances in the community. The spatiotemporal variations of environmental and biological conditions in sewers can influence the transformation of biomarkers. To date, the relationship between environmental variables and biomarker stability in sewers is poorly understood. Therefore, this study evaluated the transformation of common illicit drug and pharmaceutical biomarkers in laboratory sewer reactors with different levels of pH, temperature, and suspended solids. The correlations between degradation rates of 14 biomarkers, 3 controlled environmental variables (pH, temperature, and suspended solids concentration), and 3 biological activity indicators (sulfide production rate, methane production rate, and the removal rate of soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD)) were assessed using correlation matrix, stepwise regression method, and principal component analysis. The consistent results affirmed the dominant effects of biological activities and pH on biomarker transformation in sewers, particularly for labile compounds, whereas the impact of temperature or suspended solids was less significant. This study enhances the understanding of factors affecting the fate of micropollutants in sewer systems and facilitates the interpretation of WBE results for assessing drug use and public health in communities. © 2021 American Chemical Society

Research Area(s)

  • environmental factors, illicit drugs, in-sewer stability, pH, suspended solids, temperature, transformation, wastewater-based epidemiology

Citation Format(s)

Effects of pH, Temperature, Suspended Solids, and Biological Activity on Transformation of Illicit Drug and Pharmaceutical Biomarkers in Sewers. / Li, Jiaying; Gao, Jianfa; Zheng, Qiuda et al.
In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 55, No. 13, 06.07.2021, p. 8771-8782.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review