Characterization of additional sewage treatment technologies: ecotoxicological effects and levels of selected pharmaceuticals, hormones and endocrine disruptors

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2010 Oct;73(7):1612-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2010.05.012. Epub 2010 Jun 8.


In the present study, two conventional (with and without sand filter) and four additional (moving bed biofilm reactor, ozone, moving bed biofilm reactor combined with ozone and a membrane bio reactor) treatment technologies were operated in small-scale at Hammarby Sjöstad sewage treatment plant, Stockholm, Sweden. The effluents were tested with five short-term (≤ 7 days exposure) ecotoxicological tests, and analyzed for a number of target analytes, comprising pharmaceuticals, natural hormones and industrial chemicals. Overall, the tested effluents generated few adverse effects at lower concentrations (< 50% sewage effluent), and no major differences were observed between any of the treatments. The effluent treated with the moving bed biofilm reactor resulted in the lowest effects in the ecotoxicological tests. The most efficient treatment technology with regard to the pharmaceutical residues was the ozone treatment, which however caused negative effects in some of the ecotoxicological tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Bioreactors*
  • Chlorophyta / drug effects
  • Crustacea / drug effects
  • Drug Residues / analysis*
  • Drug Residues / toxicity
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity
  • Hormones / analysis*
  • Hormones / toxicity
  • Ozone / metabolism
  • Rhodophyta / drug effects
  • Sewage / chemistry*
  • Sweden
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Vibrio / drug effects
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity
  • Zebrafish / metabolism


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Hormones
  • Sewage
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Ozone