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Title: Estimating the removal of micropollutants and emerging contaminants from sewage treatment processes in preparation for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive
Author: Rowsell, Victoria Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 2782
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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Public awareness on the impacts that micropollutants and emerging contaminants have on aquatic resources has increased in recent decades and has become a significant driver for reducing levels of contaminants in the environment. The most recent and comprehensive initiative of the European Union in the area of water protection is the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which entails the application of new technical standards for surface water quality. It has been reported that sewage treatment works (STWs) are a major source of micropollutants for receiving aquatic environments. As a result of this, STWs are increasingly becoming a target for regulatory and public pressure with regard to their discharges to the environment. The micropollutants and emerging contaminants considered in this thesis have been identified under the European Union as substances that are toxic, persistent, and likely to bioaccumulate. This thesis aimed to develop a model to estimate concentrations and loads of micropollutants and emerging contaminants at site specific STWs to aid the implementation of the WFD by 2015. The thesis also focused on a case study to evaluate the need for tertiary treatment to remove micropollutants and emerging contaminants using a detailed laboratory analysis to assess the removal ability of a selected tertiary treatment. The results of the model designed in this research were used as part of a risk assessment which focused on understanding the risk that site specific STWs posed to the environment, and on their removal efficiencies. The risk assessment enables the most at risk STWs to be prioritised for investment and will facilitate management options in seeking to satisfy the WFD. The thesis, through extensive research, also aimed to detail knowledge gaps present in the UK water industry regarding sources, pathways, fate, and behaviour of micropollutants and emerging contaminants. Finally, recommendations were outlined regarding future steps to help meet the requirements of the WFD.
Supervisor: Voulvoulis, Nikolaos Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) ; Yorkshire Water plc
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral