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Emerging Contaminants in Australian Waters

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Emerging Contaminants in Australian Waters
Dr. Jason Reynolds, Western Sydney University (School of Science and Health)
Asia-Pacific Regional RCE Meeting 2018
25-27 September, 2018, Parramatta (Sydney), Australia

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Emerging Contaminants in Australian Waters

  1. 1. PAGE 1 The Presence of Illicit Compounds in the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System Dr Jason Reynolds School of Science and Health Western Sydney University
  2. 2. PAGE 2R
  3. 3. Illicit drugs in Sydney PAGE 3R
  4. 4. Emerging environmental pollutants PAGE 4R Emerging environmental pollutants include compounds that are not routinely monitored but which have the potential to cause adverse ecological impacts. During the 20th century, population growth and aging and the development of the agrochemical, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries led to the synthesis and increased production of innumerous compounds which are currently and continuously consumed and disposed of in a daily basis by millions of people worldwide. Key criteria for an ‘emerging pollutant’ is that it is not routinely monitored, or that its public presence is not reported. Cadmium Diclofenac Fluoroquinolones Approximate removals during WWTP using activated sludge 100%0 50% Hydrocarbons Ibuprofen Naproxene PFOS and PFAS Parabens? Silver Triclosan Cocaine? Methamphetamine?
  5. 5. Pressures on WWTP in Sydney PAGE 5R There are 25 WWTP in the Sydney basin and south coast region In Sydney alone, over 150 ML/day of treated wastewater are discharged into river and creek systems with over 130 ML/day directly into the Hawkesbury Nepean River system which is the largest river in the Sydney Basin Hawkesbury-Nepean 1 2 3 4
  6. 6. National Influent Monitoring Program PAGE 6R 1,200 mg / 1,000 people / day Or, 1.2 mg per person each day Source: Australian Crime Intelligence Commission (2018) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program – Report 4.
  7. 7. National Influent Monitoring Program PAGE 7R 700 mg / 1,000 people / day Or, 0.7mg per person each day Source: Australian Crime Intelligence Commission (2018) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program – Report 4.
  8. 8. Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Data (2018) PAGE 8R Source: Australian Crime Intelligence Commission (2018) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program – Report 4.
  9. 9. Our sampling program PAGE 9R North Richmond – average 0.9 ML / day Penrith – average 22 ML / day Quakers Hill – average 40 ML / day Rouse Hill – average 7 ML / day Breakfast Creek into which Rouse Hill WWTP discharges
  10. 10. Results from effluent study PAGE 10 Mean Illicit drug concentration (g/l) at discharge sites per sampling event Seasonal variations (greater in winter than in autumn) Other studies demonstrate weekday / weekend variations Source: Plosz et al. 2013 Note units ng/L WWTP in Oslo, Norway Redbank Creek into which North Richmond WWTP discharges
  11. 11. Total loads PAGE 11 Measured concentration at discharge point multiplied by volume of discharge water Boundary Creek into which Penrith WWTP discharges
  12. 12. Data normalised for population 10/4/2018 PAGE 12R Average influent Average effluent Approximate 20% reduction
  13. 13. Data normalised for population 10/4/2018 PAGE 13R Average influent Average effluent Approximate 10% reduction
  14. 14. PAGE 14 Environmental and ecological effects 1 Kasprzyk-Horden et al. 2008 2 Zuccato et al. 2008 The skeletal muscle of silver eels exposed to 20 ng L−1 of cocaine for 50 days. Their skeletal muscle showed evidence of serious injury, including muscle breakdown and swelling, similar to that typical of rhabdomyolysis. Source: Capaldo et al. 2018 Redbank Creek Boundary Creek Breakfast Creek Cattai Creek International studies ML / day 0.9 23.4 40 7 Methamphetamine 13.9 - 22.7 71.2 - 174.5 155 - 363 35.0 - 41.1 0.1 - 301 Benzoylecognine 3.8 - 19.4 25.7 - 76.0 57.2 - 210 113 - 123 8 – 3911 Cocaine 0.5 - 2.6 1.7 - 15.7 4.7 - 26.5 5.1 - 5.6 1.9 – 602 Artificial streams exposed to an environmentally relevant concentration (1 μg L–1) for 22 days. There was up to 45% lower biofilm chlorophyll, 85% lower biofilm gross primary production, and 30% lower seston community respiration compared to control streams. Source: Lee et al. 2016 Concentration range (μg L–1) and comparative studies Cattai Creek into which Quakers Hill WWTP discharges
  15. 15. PAGE 15 Implications for recycled water Western Sydney University has a long history of recycled water for irrigation purposes. WSU Hawkesbury campus.
  16. 16. PAGE 16 Implications for use of Hawkesbury-Nepean water From colleague Ian Wright: Available data are limited, but in the very low river flows in the recent dry summer I estimate that treated sewage comprised almost 32% of the Hawkesbury-Nepean flow in the North Richmond area for the first week of January. The water is highly treated at the Sydney Water-owned North Richmond plant to ensure it meets Australian drinking water guidelines. Source: Wright I (2018) More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise. The Conversation. March 13, 2018. With western Sydney being a growth corridor and an anticipated population increase of 200,000 people and the introduction of a new airport and ancillary businesses, the demands placed on WWTP’S will increase. The question really is: how much more treated waste water will be discharged into the Hawkesbury-Nepean system? Rouse Hill water recycling plant. Source: Sydney Water
  17. 17. PAGE 17 Conclusions and opportunities Concentrations of illicit drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine were detected in WWTP discharging into the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. Cocaine and methamphetamine concentrations at discharge points are at and/or above concentrations reported in international literature. Rough calculations suggest the removal efficiencies in the WWTP process are in the order of 20%. Increasing population growth in western Sydney will result in greater WWTP discharge into the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. There are few studies are being undertaken in this area in an Australian setting. Michelle Ryan completing a sampling transect from WWTP discharge point and downstream
  18. 18. PAGE 18 Conclusions and opportunities
  19. 19. References PAGE 19R Australian Crime Commission (2018) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. Report 4. March 2018. https://acic.govcms.gov.au/sites/g/files/net3726/f/nwdmp4.pdf?v=1522809564 Capaldo A, Gay, F, Lepretti (2018) Effects of environmental cocaine concentrations on the skeletal muscle of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Science of the Total Environment. 1;640-641:862-873 Kasprzyk-Horden, B., Dinsdale, R. & Guwy, A. (2008) The occurrence of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disruptiors and illicit drugs in surface water in South Wales, UK., Water Research 42, 3498–3518. Lee S, Paspalof A.M, Snow D et al. (2016) Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects of Amphetamine on Stream Communities. Environmental Science and Techology. 50(17) 9727-9735 Plosz G.B, Reid M.J. et al Biotransformation kinetics and sorption of cocaine and its metabolites and the factors influencing their estimation in wastewater. Water Research. 47:7 2129-2140 Sydney Water, (2018a) Wastewater treatment plants. http://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/water-the-environment/how-we-manage-sydney-s-water/wastewater- network/wastewater-treatment-plants/index.htm, (accessed 22nd January 2018) Sydney Water, (2018b) Recycled water network. http://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/water-the-environment/how-we-manage-sydney-s-water/recycled-water- network/index.htm, (accessed 22nd January 2018) Wright I (2018) More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise. The Conversation. March 13, 2018. Zuccato, F., Castiglioni, S., Bagnati, R., Chiabrando, C., Grassi, P. & Fanelli, R., (2008) Illicit drugs, a novel group of environmental contaminants, Water Research 42, 961-968

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