Modelling the fate of micropollutants in integrated urban wastewater systems: Extending the applicability to pharmaceuticals

Riccardo Delli Compagni, Fabio Polesel, Kerstin J. F. von Borries, Zhen Zhang, Andrea Turolla, Manuela Antonelli, Luca Vezzaro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Pharmaceutical active compounds (PhACs) are a category of micropollutants frequently detected across integrated urban wastewater systems. Existing modelling tools supporting the evaluation of micropollutant fate in such complex systems, such as the IUWS_MP model library (which acronym IUWS stands for Integrated Urban Wastewater System), do not consider fate processes and fractions that are typical for PhACs. This limitation was overcome by extending the existing IUWS_MP model library with new fractions (conjugated metabolites, sequestrated fraction) and processes (consumption-excretion, deconjugation). The performance of the extended library was evaluated for five PhACs (carbamazepine, ibuprofen, diclofenac, paracetamol, furosemide) in two different integrated urban wastewater systems where measurements were available. Despite data uncertainty and the simplicity of the modelling approach, chosen to minimize data requirements, model prediction uncertainty overlapped with the measurements ranges across both systems, stressing the robustness of the proposed modelling approach. Possible applications of the extended IUWS_MP model library are presented, illustrating how this tool can support urban water managers in reducing environmental impacts from PhACs discharges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116097
JournalWater Research
Volume184
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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