Emerging contaminants in a river receiving untreated wastewater from an Indian urban centre

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Williams, Mike; Kookana, Rai; Mehta, Anil; Yadav, SK; Tailor, BL; Maheshwari, Basant


2018-08-07


Journal Article


Science of the Total Environment


647


1256-1265


Research over the last decade on emerging trace organic contaminants in aquatic systems have largely focussed on sources such as treated wastewaters in high income countries, with relatively few studies relating to wastewater sources of these contaminants in low and middle income countries. We undertook a longitudinal survey of the Ahar River for a number of emerging organic contaminants (including pharmaceuticals, hormones, personal care products and industrial chemicals) which flows through the city of Udaipur, India. Udaipur is a city of approximately 450,000 people with no wastewater treatment occurring at the time of this survey. We found the concentrations of many of the contaminants within the river water were similar to those commonly reported in untreated wastewater in high income countries. For example, concentrations of pharmaceuticals, such as carbamazepine, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ranged up to 1900 ng/L. Other organic contaminants, such as steroid estrogens (up to 124 ng/L), steroid androgens (up to 1190 ng/L), benzotriazoles (up to 11 g/L), DEET (up to 390 ng/L), BPA (up to 300 ng/L) and caffeine (up to 38 g/L), were all similar to previously reported concentrations in wastewaters in high income countries. An assessment of the population densities in the watersheds feeding into the river showed increasing population density of a watershed led to a corresponding downstream increase in the concentrations of the organic contaminants, with quantifiable concentrations still present up to 10 kilometres downstream of the areas directly adjacent to the highest population densities. Overall, this study highlights how a relatively clean river can be contaminated by untreated wastewater released from an urban centre.


Elsevier


Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.084


EP183702


Journal article - Refereed


English


Williams, Mike; Kookana, Rai; Mehta, Anil; Yadav, SK; Tailor, BL; Maheshwari, Basant. Emerging contaminants in a river receiving untreated wastewater from an Indian urban centre. Science of the Total Environment. 2018; 647:1256-1265.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.084



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