cHAPTER 7: Advanced Technologies for Emerging Contaminants Removal in Urban Wastewater

Isabel Oller, M.I. Polo-Lopez, P Fernandez-Ibanez, S. Malato, S. Miralles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Human health can be adversely affected through lack of access to drinking water, inadequate sanitation, consumption of contaminated freshwater and seafood, and exposure to contaminated bathing water. For example, bioaccumulation of persistent organic contaminants may raise health concerns in vulnerable population groups. The wide range of “contaminants of emerging concern” present in European waters is a growing environmental and human concern. These substances are used in pharmaceuticals, personal care, and other consumer products, and their adverse effects have only recently become apparent. Understanding of their sources, emissions, levels, and effects in the aquatic environment is also limited. In this chapter, we review the advanced technologies recently investigated for the successful elimination of such contaminants present in urban municipal wastewater treatment plant effluents. An overview on the microcontaminants’ behavior throughout conventional and advanced biological systems is also presented, stressing the important buffer effect of their adsorption on supported biofilm. It has been also stressed that combination of membrane filtration technologies and biological treatment avoids secondary clarification and tertiary steps. The use of membranes for wastewater treatment has rapidly increased in the last years due to the exceptional high-quality standards typically for reusing purposes given. Finally, advanced chemical and biological oxidation technologies must be efficient not only in removing microcontaminants but also pathogens and microorganisms from treated water for reusing applications. For instance, the elimination of antibiotics which may lead to proliferation of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic or nonpathogenic microorganisms must be a target jointly with contaminants of emerging concern removal from treated water.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Treatment Technologies for Urban Wastewater Reuse
ISBN (Print)ISBN: 978-3-319-23885-2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Jul 2016


  • Advanced biotreatment
  • Membrane technologies
  • Microcontaminants
  • Wastewater reuse
  • Water disinfection


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