Water and Wastewater Treatment

“Some chemicals that we use in our everyday lives including medicines (such as prescription and non-prescription drugs), personal hygiene products (for example, soaps, disinfectants, …) and their chemical additives (such as preservatives) are present in the environment and associated with various sources such as municipal wastewater treatment plants, runoff from agricultural and urban land surfaces, and septic systems. These contaminants are referred to collectively as “contaminants of emerging concern” (CEC) and represent a shift in traditional thinking as many are produced industrially yet are dispersed to the environment from domestic uses” (USGS).
Several CECs have been detected downstream of River May which is to be abstracted for the provision of drinking water for a rural community of 3000 residents. A refinery is located 20 km upstream of the point of abstraction. The refinery discharges its effluent into the river and high levels of PAHs have also been detected in the river water.
The key CECs that has been detected includes:
CEC Levels in River May
1,4-Dioxane 2 mg/l
Ethinyl Estradiol (17-alpha ethynyl estradiol) 15 ng/l
Erythromycin 80 ng/l
Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) 200 ng/l
Enterovirus –
Nanoplastics –
Carbamazepine 430 ng/l
Bisphenol A 100 ng/l
Diclofanac 150 ng/l
PAH 300 ng/l

  1. Propose a design solution for the treatment of the River May water for potable use. Justify your proposed solution (800 words).
  2. Critically evaluate the occurrence and treatment of a chosen CEC in either Europe, North America or Asia (1200).

Sample Solution

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