State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project Id: 2010SD172B
Title: Measurement of Human Pharmaceutical Compounds (HPC) in Surface Water
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: SD First
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Treatment, Wastewater
Keywords: Human Pharmaceutical Compounds (HPC), Municipal Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigators: Berdanier, Bruce W (South Dakota State University); Clay, Sharon
Federal Funds: $ 5,367
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,309
Abstract: Human Pharmaceutical Compounds (HPCs) are a diverse and ubiquitously occurring set of chemicals in the water environment. Although there has been considerable research conducted over the past twenty years concerning the occurrence of HPCs in surface waters and in discharges to the surface waters, little research has been conducted regarding the treatment of HPCs (Dalton, 2003). This perceived imbalance in research efforts may relate to the fact that most of the research on these compounds has been performed by analytical chemists and has tended to focus on the sources of HPCs in the environment as a result of sewage discharged to the surface water (USEPA, 2003). Recently, emphasis has begun to shift toward pollution prevention and source control or improved treatment at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

Most of the recently recognized science issues and concerns with HPCs have been related to the health of aquatic organisms rather than human health. Many of the HPCs are hormonal compounds recognized as Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs). Research has not been accomplished to evaluate the treatment potential in conventional municipal wastewater treatment plants for the removal of HPC/EDC compounds. The work completed under this research proposal will specifically develop the analytical capabilities at SDSU to consistently indentify and quantitatively measure the concentration of these compounds which are known to directly and adversely impact aquatic life and are currently being considered for regulation by the USEPA.

This project will develop and verify the performance of methodology for the identification of EDCs following the laboratory procedures identified for that purpose by the Waters OASIS (2003). Water samples will be filtered using a 0.7 µm glass fiber filter which has been properly conditioned. Hydrophilic-lipophilic-balance (HLB) solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges will be utilized to prepare the samples resulting in sample clean up and concentration prior to analysis. EDCs concentrated in sample extracts will be separated, identified, and quantified using reversed-phase, high-performance liquid chromatography / electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI - MS) using a selected ion monitoring (SIM) operated in appropriate detector mode as determined during the methodology development phase.

The determination of the EDCs will follow a two-step investigative process. The presence of the compounds will initially be qualitatively identified as a screening step to determine which EDCs will be quantitatively determined in the second step of the process. The criteria developed by Barnes, et al., 2002, and Kolpin, et al., 2002 and as reported by Sando, et al., 2005, 2006 will be followed to assess the results in both steps. Analyte concentrations will be determined through the development of calibration curves using internal standards.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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