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Veolia Water North America Releases Study On Process To Remove Pharmaceuticals And Phosphorus From Wastewater

New technology removes 75% of pharmaceuticals in wastewater

CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veolia Water North America ( Veolia Water) today announced study findings that showed the successful removal of pharmaceuticals and phosphorus from wastewater using its Actiflo ® Carb technology. Over the course of an 8-week study, the presence of phosphorus and a variety of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), ranging from ointments to medications, were monitored after adding Actiflo ® Carb to the traditional wastewater treatment process. With the use of Actiflo ® Carb, 75 percent of the selected PPCPs were removed from the wastewater. Additionally, phosphorus was reduced to a concentration of 0.05 mg/L or less, well below the U.S. EPA's regulatory limit set at 1.0 mg/L. 

As part of a multi-year partnership with a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the Actiflo ® Carb study was conducted by process engineers from Veolia Water and its subsidiary Kruger Inc., with the support of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the Water Environment Research Foundation. The study was released at the annual WEFTEC conference and coincides with the 40 th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

"There is mounting concern across the U.S. about the impact of trace organics, such as hormones and pharmaceuticals, in our water systems and the potential threats they pose on human health, wildlife and the environment," said Dr. Rebecca Klaper, the lead scientist from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who worked on the study. "This research showed that when Actiflo ® Carb is added to a wastewater treatment process, it removes a significant portion of the pharmaceuticals tested."

By examining water samples collected at different times over the course of a one-year period between 2009 and 2010, the first phase of the project concluded that a significant concentration of several trace organic compounds (TOrCs) were still present in the wastewater even after a secondary treatment process had been completed. Since treated wastewater effluent discharged into the environment must be safe for all other water uses – including fishing, swimming, recreation and municipal drinking water supply – minimizing the discharge of TOrCs is critical.

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