Types of Pollutants a Water Treatment System Can Remove

A man is holding a glass of water in front of a kitchen sink.

Drinking water sources in the United States are among the safest in the world. However, even in the U.S., drinking water sources may get polluted, causing illness and disease from waterborne bacteria, such as Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, and other conditions.

Drinking water sources are prone to pollution and need suitable treatment to eliminate disease-causing chemicals. Public drinking water systems utilize wastewater contaminants treatment to provide safe water for their populations.

Types of Wastewater Contaminants Treatment System Can Remove

1. Phenol

Phenol is an antiseptic frequently used to treat infections caused by germs. The phenol causes harm to biology, which is necessary for the process to function correctly. As a result, biological wastewater systems are unsuccessful in removing wastewater pollution, although they are inexpensive.

2. Ethylbenzene

Ethylbenzene is a solvent and intermediate used in producing other compounds, such as styrene, among others. According to recent research, experts could eliminate more than 95% of ethylbenzene.

3. O-Xylene

O-xylene (ortho-xylene) is a chemical intermediate used to produce other chemicals, such as plastic and coatings. Polluted water is discharged from chemical manufacturing facilities, and it has the potential to pollute the surrounding ecosystem. Experts have collaborated with chemical manufacturers to help them reduce the levels of pollutants they discharge into the environment.

4. P-xylene

P-xylene (paraxylene) is a chemical intermediate that is utilized in the production of other compounds. Chemical water contamination can arise when chemical manufacturing facilities combine intermediates and wash their equipment.

5. Toluene

Poor treatment of wastewater may have detrimental effects on the ecosystem due to pollutants in water. Toluene is a solvent that can dissolve a wide range of organic pollutants. Experts have lower toluene concentrations in the industrial wastewater from 11.3 mg/L to 0.5 mg/L.

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6. Propranolol

When taken as prescribed, propranolol can help to lower blood pressure and stabilize an irregular heartbeat. Propranolol was removed from municipal wastewater, which reduced the concentration to 0.0004 mg/L, below the detection threshold. In another project, experts reduced the amount of contamination from 0.26 g/L to 0.02 g/L, demonstrating the system’s ability to remove both trace and low levels of contamination.

7. Ranitidine

Ranitidine is a gastrointestinal drug regularly prescribed to individuals suffering from ulcers. In recent studies for removing ranitidine from water, experts were able to use water technology to achieve a removal rate of 94 percent of ranitidine from municipal wastewater – reducing the concentration from 1.12 g/L to 0.07 g/L of ranitidine.

8. Sotalol

Sotalol is a cardiac medicine that is used to treat irregular heartbeats. It might make its way into the water supply because it is not entirely metabolized or drugs are not properly disposed of. Fortunately, experts are effective in removing sotalol from water. They could eliminate sotalol by 99 percent of the sample, which was below the detection limit.

9. Sulfamethoxazole

Sulfamethoxazole is a kind of antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections in humans. Experts have consistently reduced the concentration of sulfamethoxazole to less than 0.02 g/L for a variety of customers. Sulfamethoxazole removal from water is accomplished by using the water treatment method.

10. Theophylline

Theophylline is a respiratory medicine used to treat asthma in children and adults. Experts have effectively eliminated theophylline from municipal wastewater by 99 percent, resulting in a decrease below the detection limit.

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11. Triclosan

Triclosan is a water contaminant shown to impact aquatic and plant species negatively. Antibacterial agent triclosan is found in various products, including detergents, toothpaste, and mouthwash. In eliminating Triclosan from water, experts have done a very successful procedure. They were able to reduce the concentration of Triclosan from 0.08 g/L to a safe 0.01 g/L.

12. Venlafaxine

Venlafaxine is a medication used to treat the major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Venlafaxine is an antidepressant that belongs to a class of selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

It is used to treat depression (SSNRIs). Experts used a water treatment technique that reduced the presence of venlafaxine in municipal wastewater from 0.55 ng/L to 0.01 ng/L, a reduction of 98 percent.

13. Lidocaine

Lidocaine is a nerve-blocking drug used to numb the body’s tissues. It is undeniably necessary to remove lidocaine from manufacturing effluent streams, and fortunately, experts have used a water treatment that is quite successful in eliminating lidocaine from water.

They have obtained a 99 percent removal rate of lidocaine from concentrations as low as 0.0036 g/L and as high as below the detection limit.

14. Caffeine

Caffeine is considered a stimulant in its effect on the central nervous system. Drunkenness and migraines are common ailments for which caffeine is used as a treatment or management strategy.

Although the pollutant is not naturally occurring, it may be detected in low concentrations in the environment due to our bodies’ inability to metabolize it completely. Research has shown that our system can extract 87 percent of caffeine from wastewater samples with concentrations as low as 0.01114 g/L.

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Bottom Line

The world’s water future is rocky. The theme of all countries is ‘Save water.’ Water quantity and quality should be equal. People should be aware of water conservation and clean drinking water.

The technology relies on the raw water’s qualities, cost, acceptability, and use. Of course, understanding of concerns of wastewater contaminants is required for sustainability.

Since all treatment methods have limits, hybrid technologies are always advantageous; nonetheless, availability, selection, optimization, etc., are vital for system performance.

Finally, the future of water treatment technology is bright, and we aim to one day provide ‘freshwater for everyone.

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