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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Wastewater Discharge on the Occurrence of PBTC, HEDP, and Aminophosphonates in Sediment, Suspended Matter, and the Aqueous Phase of Rivers

1
Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management, University of Stuttgart, Bandtäle 2, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2
TZW: DVGW Water Technology Center, Karlsruher Straße 84, 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030803
Received: 10 January 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
Sediment, suspended matter (SM), and water of a large river (Neckar; River1) and a small river (Körsch; River2) were analyzed for the phosphonates 2-phosphonobutane-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid (PBTC), 1-hydroxyethylidene (1,1-diphosphonic acid) (HEDP), aminotris (methylphosphonic acid) (ATMP), ethylenediaminetetra (methylene phosphonic acid) (EDTMP), and diethylenetriaminepenta (methylene phosphonic acid) (DTPMP). Ten samplings were performed at intervals of one to two months during one year, each covering the relevant matrices before and behind the discharge point of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). In River1, the total concentration of dissolved phosphonate did not change significantly (2.4–5.8 µg/L before vs. 2.5–6.6 µg/L behind WWTP; p = 0.9360). In River2, it increased significantly from <0.1–1.6 µg/L to 19–39 µg/L (p < 0.0001). Based on the median, the total phosphonate load in River1 sediment increased 1.9-fold (6.7–29.4 mg/kg before vs. 17.8–53.5 mg/kg behind WWTP; p = 0.0033) and in River2 by a factor of eight (1.8–5.0 mg/kg before vs. 18.1–51.4 mg/kg behind WWTP; p < 0.0001). This indicates that phosphonates discharged by WWTPs adsorb onto solid particles and accumulate in the sediment. In the case of River2, the SM load could reach values of 1000–1710 mg/kg behind the WWTP, presumably due to the introduction of insufficiently retained activated sludge particles of >2000 mg/kg phosphonate loads. In general, the nitrogen-free phosphonates PBTC and HEDP were most predominant in both dissolved and adsorbed form, of which HEDP had the highest adsorption affinity. View Full-Text
Keywords: ATMP; burden; depth profile; DTPMP; EDTMP; environment; pollution; river concentration ATMP; burden; depth profile; DTPMP; EDTMP; environment; pollution; river concentration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rott, E.; Happel, O.; Armbruster, D.; Minke, R. Influence of Wastewater Discharge on the Occurrence of PBTC, HEDP, and Aminophosphonates in Sediment, Suspended Matter, and the Aqueous Phase of Rivers. Water 2020, 12, 803.

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