Sources and Fate of Emerging Contaminants in Municipal Wastewater
This thesis presents the results from a study investigating the sources and fate of emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment facilities for three municipalities in Ontario, Canada. As the potential environmental effects of emerging contaminants from wastewater treatment plants are being discovered, it is vital to understand their transport pathways and behaviour within the wastewater treatment system, to mitigate exposure and increase removal efficiencies. Through sampling the wastewater effluents of hospitals, funeral homes, slaughterhouses and residential neighbourhoods, each location type is shown to contribute to the loading of triclosan, triclocarban, beta-blockers, and antidepressants to the sewer system. Within the three different wastewater treatment plants monitored, the results show that conventional wastewater treatment processes remove less than 30% beta-blockers and that the disinfectants triclosan and triclocarban are primarily removed due to biological degradation.