Biological and physical attenuation of endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals: Implications for water reuse

Shane A. Snyder, Joseph Leising, Paul Westerhoff, Yeomin Yoon, Heath Mash, Brett Vanderford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


A select group of endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products was studied to determine the degree of biological attenuation in water reuse applications. Laboratory investigations involved both batch reactors using biologically active sand and continuous flow simulated aquifer storage and recovery experiments. All laboratory experiments were conducted using Colorado River water spiked with various target compounds at concentrations between 10 and 100 ng/L. Field studies were also conducted to determine the occurrence and attenuation of target compounds in water reuse applications. Two golf courses irrigated with reuse water were studied to determine if turf applications led to contamination of nearby ground water. A waste water treatment facility that uses rapid infiltration basins seasonally was also tested to determine the degree of attenuation of detectable target compounds along a subsurface flowpath. A qualitative structural activity relationship model was applied to the target compounds to predict the general rate of aerobic biological degradation. Significant attenuation of many target compounds was observed in both laboratory and field experiments. Conversely, several compounds displayed limited removal during these studies. Field experiments were limited to detectable compounds and various nonbiological removal or concentration effects that may impact data interpretations, which are discussed in this paper. The predictive model was found to be moderately accurate within the confines of the project scope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-118
Number of pages11
JournalGround Water Monitoring and Remediation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological and physical attenuation of endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals: Implications for water reuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this