Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.008
Title (Primary) Pesticides from wastewater treatment plant effluents affect invertebrate communities
Author Münze, R.; Hannemann, C.; Orlinskiy, P.; Gunold, R.; Paschke, A.; Foit, K.; Becker, J.; Kaske, O.; Paulsson, E.; Peterson, M.; Jernstedt, H.; Kreuger, J.; Schüürmann, G.; Liess, M.
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2017
Department OEC; OEKOTOX
Volume 599-600
Page From 387
Page To 399
Language englisch
Keywords Wastewater treatment plants; Pesticides; Chemcatcher® passive samplers; Macroinvertebrates; SPEARpesticides; Leaf litter degradation
UFZ wide themes RU2;
Abstract We quantified pesticide contamination and its ecological impact up- and downstream of seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in rural and suburban areas of central Germany. During two sampling campaigns, time-weighted average pesticide concentrations (cTWA) were obtained using Chemcatcher® passive samplers; pesticide peak concentrations were quantified with event-driven samplers. At downstream sites, receiving waters were additionally grab sampled for five selected pharmaceuticals. Ecological effects on macroinvertebrate structure and ecosystem function were assessed using the biological indicator system SPEARpesticides (SPEcies At Risk) and leaf litter breakdown rates, respectively. WWTP effluents substantially increased insecticide and fungicide concentrations in receiving waters; in many cases, treated wastewater was the exclusive source for the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid in the investigated streams. During the ten weeks of the investigation, five out of the seven WWTPs increased in-stream pesticide toxicity by a factor of three. As a consequence, at downstream sites, SPEAR values and leaf litter degradation rates were reduced by 40% and 53%, respectively. The reduced leaf litter breakdown was related to changes in the macroinvertebrate communities described by SPEARpesticides and not to altered microbial activity. Neonicotinoids showed the highest ecological relevance for the composition of invertebrate communities, occasionally exceeding the Regulatory Acceptable Concentrations (RACs). In general, considerable ecological effects of insecticides were observed above and below regulatory thresholds. Fungicides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals contributed only marginally to acute toxicity. We conclude that pesticide retention of WWTPs needs to be improved.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Münze, R., Hannemann, C., Orlinskiy, P., Gunold, R., Paschke, A., Foit, K., Becker, J., Kaske, O., Paulsson, E., Peterson, M., Jernstedt, H., Kreuger, J., Schüürmann, G., Liess, M. (2017):
Pesticides from wastewater treatment plant effluents affect invertebrate communities
Sci. Total Environ. 599-600 , 387 - 399