Behaviour and redox sensitivity of pharmaceutical residues during bank filtration – Investigation of residues of phenazone-type analgesics

The behaviour of residues of phenazone-type pharmaceuticals during bank filtration was investigated at a field site in Berlin, Germany, where bank-filtered water is used for drinking water production. The concentrations of the pharmaceutical residues in the shallow, young bank filtrate (travel times < one month) were correlated to the prevailing hydrochemical conditions at the field site. In addition, their behaviour during passage through an undisturbed sediment core from the lake base at the site (clogging layer) was evaluated in the laboratory. Phenazone, 4-acetylaminoantipyrine (AAA), 4-formylaminoantipyrin (FAA) and 1,5-dimethyl-1,2-dehydro-3-pyrazolone (DP) were eliminated more efficiently under oxic conditions, while 1-acetyl-1-methyl-2-dimethyloxamoyl-2-phenylhydrazide (AMDOPH) was not eliminated at all. The redox conditions and the elimination of the respective pharmaceutical residues displayed strong seasonal variations. Oxic conditions were only encountered close to the shore in winter, when temperatures were low. The column study showed that the elimination is restricted to the uppermost decimetres of the lake base, where oxygen is present. While phenazone elimination is almost complete during aerobic rapid sand filtration in the waterworks, the compounds were found to be more persistent under anoxic field conditions.

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