Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Uncovering Health Problems through New Research into Wastewater Reuse

The reuse of treated wastewater can be a valuable resource in arid regions around the world, with water being reclaimed for irrigation, surface release, and groundwater recharge.
But some contaminants in the water are being identified as health problems-- especially pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs). New research reveals better understanding of the conditions in which PhACs accumulate and degrade over time, could negate the risk of these potentially harmful compounds.

Two USDA-ARS scientists from the U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center (ALARC) studied soils from a groundwater recharge basin in Gilbert, Arizona. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America Member Clinton Williams, and American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Member J.E.T. McLain targeted their research on ibuprofen, caffeine, carbamazepine, and lincomycin.

One of the consequences discovered from exposure to these compounds is antibiotic resistance. Colonies of bacteria exposed to PhACs in nature, can develop into resistant strains over time, leading to diseases requiring more expensive and toxic medication. PhACs have also been linked to endocrine disruption in humans, affecting hormone glands regulating reproductive growth, metabolism, and other essential body functions. And while several past studies focused on PhACs in stream and river systems, and also irrigation practices-- there's little research regarding the accumulation in the soil of groundwater recharge systems.

This just released information from the study, which is set to appear in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, tracks three years of soil samples taken from a recharge basin in Gilbert, Arizona, utilizing a recharge method known as soil aquifer treatment (SAT). Williams and McLain examined the accumulation rates of PhACs to determine the long-term sustainability of the SAT system in removing contaminants.

The anti-inflammatory compound ibuprofen was measured as below detection limits in all samples. Lincomycin, an antibiotic, showed no net accumulation over the three-year study but had significantly higher concentrations closest to the surface. And the stimulant caffeine, exhibited net accumulation throughout the study, with its greatest concentrations also near the surface.

Finally, carbamazepine is a drug used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorders. It showed accumulation over the course of the study similar to caffeine, yet had the lowest concentration of the four compounds at a depth of 0 to 5 cm. “You can look, and you can find these compounds everywhere at very low concentrations. But I’m mostly interested in what we saw happen with carbamazepine,” says Williams. “There’s something going on at the surface and that’s what I want to figure out.”

Understanding the low carbamazepine concentrations at the soil surface holds the answers to processes responsible for degrading PhACs leftover from wastewater. This could allow scientists to further increase the sustainability of wastewater reuse for groundwater recharge purposes, a crucial development for meeting future water demands, while at the same time, protecting human health.

Take a sneak peek at the abstract, at this link:

The Journal of Environmental Quality is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

Teri Barr | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>