Fingerprinting Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater

The overarching project considers the presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the environment. CECs of interest include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), and drugs. A big source of CECs in the environment is wastewater from sewage treatment plants (STPs). As CECs are hard to treat, we are hoping to identify the upstream sources, i.e. domestic/residential and industrial sources that flow to the STPs. We will be sampling wastewater from residential areas during Census week to have the best understanding possible of demographics in the areas. We are also compiling a trade waste library, which will be de-identified and used to find any trends of CECs across different industries, as well as provide foundations for future research.

Project members

Chantal Keane

PhD candidate

Prof Jochen Mueller

Theme Leader, Emerging Environmental Health Risks