Emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and personal care products can be released to the environment in untreated wastewater/stormwater mixtures following storm events. The frequency and intensity of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) has increased in some areas due to increasing urbanisation and climate change. Therefore, this review provides an up-to-date overview on CSOs as an environmental source of emerging contaminants. Other than compounds with high removal, those chiral species subject to enantioselective changes (i.e. degradation or inversion) during wastewater treatment can be effective markers of CSO discharge in the environment. A proposed framework for the selection of emerging contaminants as markers of CSOs is outlined. Studies have demonstrated that CSOs can be the main source of emerging contaminants with high removal efficiency during wastewater treatment (e.g. > 90%). However, the impact of CSOs on the environment is location specific and requires decision-making on their appropriate management at catchment level. This process would be aided by further studies on CSOs which incorporate the monitoring of emerging contaminants and their effects in the environment with those more routinely monitored pollutants (e.g. pathogens and priority substances). Mitigation and treatment strategies for emerging contaminants in CSOs are also discussed.
PETRIE, B. 2021. A review of combined sewer overflows as a source of wastewater-derived emerging contaminants in the environment and their management. Environmental science and pollution research [online], 28(25), pages 32095-32110. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14103-1