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dc.contributor.authorSá, Mariana F. T.
dc.contributor.authorCastro Bustelo, Verónica
dc.contributor.authorGomes, Ana I.
dc.contributor.authorMorais, Daniela
dc.contributor.authorBraga, Rui V. P. S. Silva
dc.contributor.authorSaraiva, Isabel
dc.contributor.authorSouza-Chaves, Blanca M.
dc.contributor.authorPark, Minkyu
dc.contributor.authorFernández, Victoria
dc.contributor.authorRodil Rodríguez, Rosario
dc.contributor.authorMontes Goyanes, Rosa María
dc.contributor.authorQuintana Álvarez, José Benito
dc.contributor.authorVilar, Víctor J. P.
dc.identifier.citationM.F.T. Sá et al. Science of the Total Environment, 2022, 817, 152518
dc.description.abstractThis work provides a screening of organic contaminants and characterization of the dissolved organic matter in the sewer network until the municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), identifying the network areas with a higher degree of contamination and their impact on the WWTP performance, particularly in the activated sludge reactor. Three monitoring campaigns were carried out at six selected locations of the sewage system (PVZ-1, PVZ-2, PS-F, PS-VC, CP-VC, and PS-T), influent (WWTPINF) and effluent (WWTPEFF) of the WWTP. Advanced analytical techniques were employed, namely excitation/emission matrix fluorescence-parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC), size exclusion chromatography with organic carbon detector (SEC-OCD), and liquid chromatography with high-resolution-mass spectrometric detection (LC-HRMS). EEM-PARAFAC showed higher fluorescence intensity for the protein-like component (C2), particularly at CP-VC (near seafood industries) associated with the presence of surfactants (~50 mg/L). SEC-OCD highlighted the WWTP efficiency in removing low molecular weight acids and neutrals. LC-HRMS tentatively identified 108 compounds of emerging concern (CEC) and similar detection patterns were obtained for all wastewater samples, except for PVZ-2 (lower detection), many of which occurred in the effluent. Eight CECs included on relevant Watch-Lists were detected in all WWTPEFF samples. Furthermore, 111 surfactants were detected, the classes more frequently found being alcohol ethoxylates (AEOs), nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEOs) and linear alkylbenzene sulphonates (LAS). The continuous presence of LAS and NPEOs allied to surfactants concentrations in the WWTPINF of 15–20 mg/L, with CP-VC location (linked with food industries) as an important contributor, explain the morphological changes in the activated sludge and high LAS content in the dewatered sludge, which may have impacted WWTP performance.
dc.description.sponsorshipi) Base-UIDB/50020/2020 and Programmatic-UIDP/50020/2020 Funding of LSRE-LCM, funded by national funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC); ii) European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg V-A Spain-Portugal Programme (POCTEP) 2014–2020 (ref. 0725_NOR_WATER_1_P); iii) Xunta de Galicia (Verónica Castro predoctoral contract: ED481A-2017/156, and ED431C2017/36), the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación – MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 (ref. PID2020-117686RB-C32); iv) NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000069 (Healthy Waters) co-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement. The authors also acknowledge Águas do Norte, S.A. for supporting the development of this work. Daniela F.S. Morais acknowledges her Ph.D. scholarship supported by FCT (SFRH/BD/146476/2019). Bianca M. Souza Chaves gratefully acknowledges her postdoctoral scholarship supported by CNPq through the Science Without Borders Program (Process No. 201989/2014-0). Vítor J.P. Vilar acknowledges the FCT Individual Call to Scientific Employment Stimulus 2017 (CEECIND/01317/2017)
dc.relationinfo:eu-repo/grantAgreement/AEI/Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020/PID2020-117686RB-C32/ES/EVALUACION DE LA EXPOSICION HUMANA Y AMBIENTAL A CONTAMINANTES QUIMICOS DE ESPECIAL RELEVANCIA
dc.rights© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
dc.subjectContaminants of emerging concern (CEC)
dc.subjectEEM-PARAFAC analysis
dc.subjectIndustrial pollution hotspots
dc.subjectSuspect screening
dc.titleTracking pollutants in a municipal sewage network impairing the operation of a wastewater treatment plant
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversidade de Santiago de Compostela. Departamento de Química Analítica, Nutrición e Bromatoloxía

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© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as  © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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