Lagoons remove majority of microconstituents
lagoons reduce concentrations of most but not all microconstituents.
Researchers examined how effective rural lagoon systems were at removing 21
commonly used microconstituents from wastewater, according to a University of
Illinois (Urbana) news release. Wei Zheng, senior research scientist at the
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (Champaign) and adjunct faculty member
in the University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Sciences, led the study, which was conducted jointly with the Illinois State
Water Survey (Champaign), the news release says.
collected water samples in September and November from a rural Illinois water
resource recovery facility that uses two aerated lagoons for biological
treatment and a sand tank for filtration. Samples from various steps throughout
the treatment process were collected for analysis.
testing for 21 microconstituents and hormones, the research team found that the
system reduced concentrations of most of the tested compounds except
carbamazepine, a drug used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder that is
difficult to remove from wastewater. Overall removal efficiency ranged from 88%
to 100% in September for most compounds, and there were no detectable steroid
hormones in the effluent, the news release says.
collected in November contained higher concentrations of all detected
microconstituents than those collected in September. Zheng explains that this
likely is because microorganisms that break down contaminants work best in warm
weather, the news release says.
researchers found a relatively high removal of microconstituents by the lagoon,
they also found that the waterways in surrounding watersheds had a significant
increase in the occurrence of microconstituents. The results point to the need
for more research to understand the environmental fate and effects of
microconstituent and hormone contaminants in waterways, the news release says.
The paper “Occurrence and removal of
pharmaceutical and hormone contaminants in rural wastewater treatment lagoons”
was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
Water industry increases demand for detailed
real-time water data
Hydrological Monitoring Industry Trends
report published by Aquatic Informatics Inc. (Vancouver, British Columbia)
provides data on the state of the water industry.
700 water resource professionals from 90 countries participated in a global
study conducted in fall 2012. The study identifies the trends in water
monitoring technologies, strategies, and best practices, according to Stuart
Hamilton, Aquatic Informatics’ senior hydrologist.
report reveals an increasing demand for metadata and higher-level analysis,
decline in tolerance for data faults, and the expectation that
quality-controlled data be published sooner. By 2022, respondents forecast they
will be publishing daily averages and unit values through dynamic content using
Web 2.0 tools, Web services, and mobile devices, the article says.
water resource managers are collecting, storing, managing, analyzing, and
publishing more continuous hydrological data than ever before,” the article
says. There is an increased demand for hydrological monitoring networks to
serve both multiple needs and multiple purposes. And 72% of water professionals
reported that they would need more monitoring stations to adequately meet all
of their program goals, the article says.
identifies a decline in the use of analog paper charts and major growth in the
use of digital multichannel data loggers, with a trend of adopting automated
sample collection and multiparameter water quality sensors, the article says.
In addition, the most popular communications technology is digital data
retrieval. Another trend is the adoption of Web-enabled sensors, which were
being used for 4% of stations in 2002, now are used for 20% of stations, and
are forecast to be used for about 40% of stations by 2022, the article says.
resource managers have turned to real-time communications technologies for data
transmission,” the article says. “They also are implementing redundant hardware
as a best practice to guarantee timely availability of critical water data.”
Increased use of advanced technology has resulted in large volumes of complex
data. The report finds it also is important that the data be communicated
clearly and through a widely accepted standard operating procedure. “Water
resource professionals are concerned with ensuring data quality, defensibility,
and interoperability,” the article says. “Water managers want to produce data
that can be trusted.”
using actively licensed commercial software reported better being able to meet
evolving stakeholder expectations for real-time data products and services,
metadata availability, higher level analysis, and timely reporting and
publishing,” the article says. New technologies and data management solutions
are being deployed so real-time, high-quality information is more readily
available, the article says.
For more information, see the report at http://pages.aquaticinformatics.com/Water_Report.html.
Setting a path to increasing nutrient use
Our Nutrient World
, a report
commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (Nairobi, Kenya),
describes how humans have altered the natural flows of nitrogen, phosphorus,
and other nutrients.
report, which describes a study carried out by experts from 14 countries, recommends
a 20% improvement in nutrient use efficiency by 2020, reducing the annual use
of nitrogen fertilizer by 20 million Mg. The goal of “20:20 for 2020” would
provide a net savings of about $144 billion/yr (£110 billion/yr), according to
a Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Wallingford, England) news release.
include emissions from agriculture and combustion of fossil fuels. While some
countries have substantially reduced emissions from combustion sources and
wastewater treatment, much less progress has been made in reducing emissions
from agriculture or regarding citizens’ personal choices, the news release
In addition, about
80% of harvested nitrogen and phosphorus is consumed by livestock, rather than
directly by humans. This shows that “global nutrient supply and pollution are
dominated by humans’ choice to consume animal products,” the news release says.
The report describes
this as a global problem and calls for an intergovernmental framework to
address such issues. It also proposes a road map for this type of agreement.
According to the news release, proposed actions include
the management of nutrients in agriculture by such activities as using
precision agricultural methods, including “planting” fertilizer pellets into
the ground; reducing
nutrient losses from industry and
wastewater treatment — for
example, by recycling available resources and
developing methods to recapture nitrogen oxides from combustion sources; improving
local optimization of nutrient flows, connecting arable and livestock farming
to improve nutrient recycling
consumption of animal protein; and localizing
agricultural production to help improve nutrient recycling and reduce nutrient
loss. The researchers note
that efficiency will require a package of measures that include
education, demonstration, new technologies, and improved management techniques,
the news release says.
alternative to determining anaerobic digester stability in April WER
anaerobic digester stability can be a useful tool, especially when increasing
organic loading to produce more methane. Seattle University researchers set out
to examine if a water displacement system could be used in place of gas
chromatography analysis to measure digester stability. Results of this research
are published in the April issue of Water Environment Research.
uptake bioassay can be used to monitor digester stability, typically by
measuring methane gas production from serum bottles over time with a gas
chromatograph. But the expense and limited availability of the gas
chromatography equipment makes the process uncommon.
researchers compared and evaluated the water displacement system as an
alternative for gas chromatography and determined that methane generation rates
measured by both methods were statistically the same, the paper says. The
method’s precision, calculated by measuring near stoichiometric volumes of
carbon dioxide gas production from abiotic tests using sodium carbonate and
hydrochloric acid, varied less than 5%.
finding could make the adoption of acetate uptake bioassay using a water
displacement system for predicting digester stability “a practical option for
treatment facilities,” the paper says.
The report, “Avoiding Digester Upset,” is
available as an open-access document and can be downloaded free at http://goo.gl/5N3KV.
Environment Research allows open access to one article per issue on a range
of important technical topics such as nutrient removal, stormwater, and