The implementation of new legislation such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires Member States to gain a better understanding of priority substances entering surface waters. This will include inputs from wastewater treatment works as well as from other urban, industrial and agricultural sources. There is currently a lack of available data regarding the magnitude and sources of organic priority substances entering treatment works. As a consequence the concentrations of organic priority substances including PAHs, surfactants, polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), pesticides and solvents were determined in the wastewater from an urban catchment located in the UK, as part of a project undertaken for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR). Most organic priority substances were detected in the μg/l range. Significant variations in the concentration of linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS), DEHP, PBDEs and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs), in particular, were observed for the different sources. The greatest differences were evident between new and older domestic discharges. Solvent levels varied considerably reflecting use and production within the catchment. Chloroform levels were highest in domestic effluent, while trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene were detected only in commercial samples. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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