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Fate of organic micropollutants in the hyporheic zone of a eutrophic lowland stream: results of a preliminary field study
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2011 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, Vol. 409, 1824-1835 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many rivers and streams worldwide are impacted by pharmaceuticals originating from sewage. The hyporheic zone underlying streams is often regarded as reactive bioreactor with the potential for eliminating such sewage-born micropollutants. The present study aims at checking the elimination potential and analyzing the coupling of hydrodynamics, biogeochemistry and micropollutant processing. To this end, two sites at the lowland stream Erpe, which receives a high sewage burden, were equipped and sampled with nested piezometers. From temperature depth profiles we determined that at one of the sites infiltration of surface water into the aquifer occurs while exfiltration dominates at the other site. Biogeochemical data reveal intense mineralization processes and strictly anoxic conditions in the streambed sediments at both sites. Concentrations of the pharmaceuticals indomethacin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, bezafibrate, ketoprofen, naproxen and clofibric acid were high in the surface water and also in the subsurface at the infiltrating site. The evaluation of the depth profiles indicates some attenuation but due to varying surface water composition the evaluation of subsurface processes is quite complex. Borate and non-geogenic gadolinium were measured as conservative wastewater indicators. To eliminate the influence of fluctuating sewage proportions in the surface water, micropollutant concentrations are related to these indicators. The indicators can cope with different dilutions of the sewage but not with temporally varying sewage composition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 409, 1824-1835 p.
Keyword [en]
Pharmaceuticals, Ibuprofen, Hyporheic zone, Self-purification capacity, Gadolinium, Borate, Hydrology, Biogeochemistry
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84040DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.01.028OAI: diva2:578153
Available from: 2012-12-17 Created: 2012-12-17 Last updated: 2013-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Radke, Michael
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Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
Environmental Sciences

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