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Selected organic pesticides behavior and removal from domestic waste water by chemical and physical processes

Selected organic pesticides behavior and removal from domestic waste water by chemical and physical processes

Water Research 16(4): 479-488

A study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical and physical wastewater treatment processes in removing selected organic pesticides from domestic wastewater. A 3785 m3/day (106 gal/day) nominal capacity pilot plant consisting of biological, chemical and physical units was used for the study. Biologically treated domestic wastewater was subjected to chemical coagulation, multimedia filtration and activated carbon adsorption. Eight sequences of treatment processes were studied. Influent and effluent samples were analyzed for selected chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides and chlorophenoxy herbicides using EC-GC (electron capture-gas chromatography). Confirmatory tests such as TLC, extraction of p-value and computer-mass spectrometry GC were applied on selected samples. Results of the study provided qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the performance of the treatment processes studied. Qualitatively, characteristic profiles consisting of a limited number of refractory organic residues were detected as peaks on EC chromatograms of extracts from each treatment unit. Thirteen compounds were confirmed in the biologically treated wastewater. These included DDT and its metabolites, aldrin, dieldrin and 2,4-D alkyl esters and salts. Concentration levels of these compounds in wastewaters were at the ng l-1 (part per trillion) level. Chemical coagulation with alum-lime or lime-ferric chloride effected slight reduction of the organic residues detected on EC chromatograms. Quantitatively, only DDT compounds were more completely removed by chemical treatment. Multimedia filters had no discernible effect in removing organic residues from biologically and chemically treated wastewater. Activated carbon columns were the most effective means for removing the refractory organic residues detected. Breakthrough of some organic residues was noted after usage of the carbon for > 1 yr. Thus, application of several sequences of treatment processes on domestic wastewater can produce a high quality effluent which is virtually free from EC detectable organic residues.

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Accession: 006380001

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