The behaviour of residues of antibiotic drugs during bank filtration was studied at a field site in Berlin, Germany, where bank-filtered water is used for the production of drinking water. The neighbouring surface water used for bank filtration is under the influence of treated municipal wastewater. Seven out of 19 investigated antimicrobial residues were found in the surface water with median concentrations between 7 and 151 ng L¡1. Out of the seven analytes detected in the surface water only three (anhydroerythromycin, clindamycin and sulfamethoxazole) were found with median concentrations above their limits of quantitation in bank filtrate with a travel time of one month or less. With the exception of sulfamethoxazole, none of the 19 analytes were present in bank filtrate with a residence time larger than one month or in the water-supply well itself. Sulfamethoxazole found with a median concentration of 151 ng L¡1 in the surface water was the most persistent of all antimicrobial residues. Nevertheless, it was also removed by more than 98% and only found with a median concentration of 2 ng L¡1 in the water-supply well. The degradation of clindamycin and sulfamethoxazole appear to be redox-dependent. Clindamycin was eliminated more effi­ciently under oxic infiltration conditions while sulfamethoxazole was eliminated more rapidly under anoxic infiltration conditions. A slight preference for an improved degradation under oxic (clarithromycin and roxithromycin) or anoxic (anhydroerythromycin) conditions was also observed for the macrolide antibiotics. Nevertheless, all macrolides were readily removable by bank filtration both under oxic and anoxic conditions.

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