Monitoring estrogen compounds in wastewater recycling systems

Deborah M. Kvanli, Sreelatha Marisetty, Todd A. Anderson, W. Andrew Jackson, Audra N. Morse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in treated wastewater is gaining attention due to their potential environmental impact. An analytical method was developed to quantify estrogen compounds in samples from a concentrated wastewater matrix typical of water recycling systems used in space. The method employed conventional HPLC with UV detection. Solid phase extraction (SPE) was used to isolate the compounds of interest from wastewater. Spike-recovery tests in clean and wastewater matrices were used to test the extraction process. The results of these experiments suggest that deconjugation is the most predominant reaction occurring in the systems, as effluent concentrations of free estrogens typically exceeded influent concentrations. Despite the long retention times of the system or the near infinite solids retention time, free estrogens were not removed from graywater representative of space waste streams. For a closed-loop wastewater treatment system, these compounds may accumulate to levels requiring other removal mechanisms (i.e., reverse osmosis).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • 17α-ethynylestradiol
  • 17β-estradiol
  • Estradiol
  • Estrone
  • Graywater
  • Water reuse


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