Impact of Suspended Solids on the Use of LuminoTox to Detect Toxicity of Micropollutants

Article

Abstract

There is an increasing need for tools to monitor toxicity of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in wastewater. The purpose of this work was to assess interferences in the presence of total solids (TS) and total suspended solids (TSS) in the LuminoTox at concentrations typical of those found in municipal secondary effluent (SE) and to evaluate a simple sample enrichment method for increased CEC sensitivity. 4 or 10 µg/L atrazine in different TS concentrations and in corresponding filtrates (TSS removed) exhibited equivalent toxicities. Because the only difference between these two fractions is the TSS, this result demonstrates that, generally, this fraction does not induce toxicity nor interfere with the bioassay. At constant medium-low TS, the LuminoTox was able to detect the presence of 4 µg/L of atrazine but could not distinguish the change in atrazine concentration between 4 and 6 µg/L. No inhibition was observed in the presence of a mix of 14 CECs each at 0.23 µg/L. However, upon sample enrichment by lyophilization (50×), an inhibition of 81 ± 3% was observed. The enriched SE alone (not spiked with CECs) led to an inhibition of 49 ± 1%, indicating the detection of the CEC contribution to toxicity after sample preconcentration. The LuminoTox is a promising tool for monitoring SE; however, if the intent is to detect CECs, enrichment method optimization is required.

Abbreviations

SAPS

Stabilized aqueous photosynthetic systems

CECs

Contaminants of emerging concern

SE

Secondary effluent

SWW

Synthetic wastewater

MQW

Milli Q water

ATZ

Atrazine

Φ

Photosystem II

NOM

Natural Organic Matter

HAs

Humic acids

PSD

Particle size distribution

Lum-SPA

LuminoTox Solid Phase Assay

Lum-LPA

LuminoTox Leachate Phase Assay

Lum-DCA

LuminoTox Direct Contact Assay

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the staff of each WWTP for their cooperation and help during sampling campaigns. They thank Marco Pineda for his assistance with chemical analysis of the target CECs and Andrew Golsztajn and Ranjan Roy for their help with the Particle Size Distribution Analysis. The authors also thank the McGill Engineering Doctoral Award for supporting Meghan Marshall. A research grant was provided to Viviane Yargeau (PI) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada through the Discovery Grant Program (RGPIN/04635-2015).

Supplementary material

244_2017_478_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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