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dc.contributor.author
McCall, Ann-Kathrin
dc.contributor.supervisor
Morgenroth, Eberhard
dc.contributor.supervisor
Ort, Christoph
dc.contributor.supervisor
Thomas, Kevin
dc.date.accessioned
2017-12-01T08:15:51Z
dc.date.available
2017-11-30T20:57:45Z
dc.date.available
2017-12-01T08:15:51Z
dc.date.issued
2017
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11850/216042
dc.identifier.doi
10.3929/ethz-b-000216042
dc.description.abstract
The accuracy and high sensitivity of advanced, modern analytical methods make it possible to quantify concentrations of trace organic chemicals in environmental matrices. Wastewater is one such matrix, presenting relevant epidemiological information about a population’s lifestyle habits, health, and wellbeing. The urban sewer system unintentionally collects and aggregates this information in wastewater streams arriving at each treatment plant, where samples may be analyzed for biomarkers to measure various human activities, such as illicit drug consumption trends. This specialized field is termed wastewater-based epidemiology. Between excretion and sampling at a wastewater treatment plant, human biomarkers may undergo biological and chemical transformation processes (losses) along their flow path in sewer networks. The overall objective of this thesis was to quantify such biomarker transformation losses, while accounting for spatio-temporal variability in i) biomarker-specific transformation rates and ii) hydraulic water and mass transport. Existing literature was systematically evaluated, finding that the current level of investigation of in-sewer biomarker stability was severely limited. In response, a highly controlled and comparable experiment setup was proposed, and systematic laboratory batch experiments were conducted. Foremost, spatial variability under constant environmental conditions was addressed, and transformation potentials of sewer biofilms (from different gravity sewer pipes with dynamic, seasonal varying growth conditions) were tested. Transformation processes were biomarker-specific for the selected illicit drugs, drugs of abuse, and pharmaceuticals (parent compounds and/or metabolites). The kinetics were best described by an empirical first-order transformation model. Rate coefficients for abiotic, biotic wastewater, and four different biofilms were estimated by applying Bayesian inference. The resulting distributions included “natural” variability, due to several replicate studies. A small group of biomarkers was transformed due to chemical hydrolysis (e.g., cocaine, mephedrone, cocaethylene), though, most biomarkers were influenced to varying degrees by a combination of biotic processes in wastewater and biofilms. Amphetamine, 6-acetylcodeine, and 6-monoacetylmorphine were transformed by all tested biofilms, however, many biomarkers were stable (i.e. transformation/loss < 20% over 24 h) under all tested conditions and with all biofilms. Generally, biomarker transformations varied among the biofilms, for example, methamphetamine was transformed by a trunk sewer biofilm, while unaffected by the presence of biofilm from a small, residential sewer. Amplicon sequencing analyses confirmed substantial differences in the microbial community compositions and diversities of the four biofilm samples. Furthermore, a sewer modeling framework was developed combining the kinetic transformation model with sewer-specific hydraulic water and mass transport, to predict potential biomarker losses in three differently sized sewer catchments. With limited computational efforts, in-sewer biomarker transformations were estimated for three sewer catchments. Hydraulic parameters influencing transformations were the hydraulic residence time (HRT) and the varying biofilm surface area to wastewater volume ratio (A/Vi) in a conduit i, influencing transformation rates in biofilms. Catchment-specific HRT and A/Veq (sum of A/Vs along the flow path normalized with their travel time in each conduit) distributions were generated from hydraulic simulations only considering advection. This approach allowed the quantification of spatial and temporal variability in hydraulics. The resulting frequency distributions demonstrated a higher mean HRT for the large catchment compared to the small catchment. On the contrary, the mean A/Veq was significantly higher in the small catchment compared to the large one. In conclusion, in-sewer losses and uncertainties were estimated by sampling from transformation rate coefficients, HRT, and A/Veq distributions. This facilitated efficient testing of different scenarios (unknown location of the drug users, prevalence, environmental conditions). Biomarkers with high abiotic transformation rate coefficients (e.g., cocaine, mephedrone) were increasingly transformed with greater HRT and catchment size. In contrast, biomarkers with high rate coefficients for biofilm processes (e.g., amphetamine, acetylcodeine) presented similar transformation losses in the investigated small and large catchments. Overall, the high variability in rate coefficients accounted for the greatest portion of uncertainty in biomarker loss estimates, rather than the spatial uncertainty of the unknown drug user locations. Ultimately, the combination of the biomarker transformation model with the new hydrodynamic sewer modeling framework accurately, efficiently, and confidently estimated in-sewer biomarker loss and uncertainty for many biomarkers under various conditions.
en_US
dc.format
PDF
en_US
dc.language.iso
en
en_US
dc.publisher
ETH Zurich
en_US
dc.title
The Role of In-Sewer Transformation on Illicit Target Drug Residues to Estimate Community Drug Abuse Through Wastewater Analysis
en_US
dc.type
Doctoral Thesis
ethz.size
199 p.
en_US
ethz.identifier.diss
24260
en_US
ethz.publication.place
Zurich
en_US
ethz.publication.status
published
en_US
ethz.leitzahl
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02115 - Departement Bau, Umwelt und Geomatik / Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering::02608 - Institut für Umweltingenieurwissenschaften (IfU) / Institute of Environmental Engineering (IfU)::03832 - Morgenroth, Eberhard
en_US
ethz.leitzahl.certified
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02115 - Departement Bau, Umwelt und Geomatik / Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering::02608 - Institut für Umweltingenieurwissenschaften (IfU) / Institute of Environmental Engineering (IfU)::03832 - Morgenroth, Eberhard
en_US
ethz.date.deposited
2017-11-30T20:57:48Z
ethz.source
FORM
ethz.eth
yes
en_US
ethz.availability
Embargoed
en_US
ethz.date.embargoend
2019-12-01
ethz.rosetta.installDate
2017-12-01T08:16:01Z
ethz.rosetta.lastUpdated
2018-01-11T12:09:18Z
ethz.rosetta.versionExported
true
ethz.COinS
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