Occurrence and Removal of Emerging Micropollutants from Urban Wastewater

  • Petr HlavínekEmail author
  • Adéla Žižlavská
Part of the Water Science and Technology Library book series (WSTL, volume 86)


In the last few years, the issue of new dangerous micropollutants, penetrating from municipal wastewater into the environment, which can pose a threat to animals and plants, but also humans, has become very topical. These substances, the originator of which is our developed society, are completely out of the ordinary standards of wastewater treatment, and most of the commonly used purification technology is ineffective against them. The persistent and bioaccumulative nature of these substances brings major risk to wild live plants and animals because it affects their endocrine systems. It causes transcription of DNA and RNA. The immediate danger to humans is primarily the bioaccumulation potential of these substances and their binding to a solid soil matrix where they can be leached into groundwater and contaminated with drink water sources. The escape of these substances into the environment is primarily connected with the abundant use of chemical additives in various industries, with a separate chapter being agriculture, where the massive use of chlorine-based chemical pesticides for long years has completely infested a large amount of soil. Wastewater is one of the main gates of micropollutants entering the aquatic environment, especially those that are part of pharmaceutical products, such as hormonal contraceptives, which contain synthetic hormones that cause severe sex-mutagens changes in fish. However, the increased occurrence of micropollutants is not only related to the fact that these substances are abundantly overused, but also that the detection methods were able to capture these substances during the sub-20 years. From the time perspective, we are not yet able to determine their future environmental developments, and we do not know about interactions exist between them and other substances in the frame of sewage and treatment process, when that may induce new substances that can often be more dangerous than origins mother substances. Our aim should, therefore, be to make the processes and technologies for removing these substances from wastewater as efficiently as possible so as to prevent their free distribution to the environment. This section of the publication attempts to summarize the current knowledge of hazardous micropollutants in wastewater and the possibilities of their elimination.


Urban wastewater Micropollutants Xenobiotics Wastewater treatment Environment 



This chapter has been worked out under the project No. LO1408 “AdMaS UP—Advanced Materials, Structures and Technologies”, supported by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports under the “National Sustainability Programme I”.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre AdMaS, VUT BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

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